"I do believe that it can," the Arizona Republican told reporters on Capitol Hill before going into the classified meeting. "I think it depends to some degree whether the president of the United States not only makes the case to Congress, but I would recommend that he speak from the Oval Office and tell the American people why this mission is necessary."
Shadows of the past loom in present
Rep. Janice Hahn of California, who took a red-eye flight from Los Angeles Saturday night to arrive in time for the Sunday briefing, said "there was a lot of concern in the room" about the objectives of launching a strike.
Hahn, a Democrat, said she's "not there yet" on feeling confident about voting for military intervention, adding the room of about 100 lawmakers seemed "evenly divided."
"Members of Congress that came back here today are taking this very seriously, are very concerned and are asking a lot of hard questions, probably some questions that were not asked 10 years ago," she said.
Rep. Jim Himes, D-Connecticut, also referenced the Iraq War as a reason why many lawmakers want to be careful about their decision.
"There was a lot of memories of another time when a president came and said, or at least the president's people came and said, this was slam dunk intelligence, and of course, that was not an episode that most members would ever want to repeat," he said, adding that he believes most members "are thinking a lot more about the merits of the proposal than the political consequences for the president."
If the vote were held today, Himes said he would vote "no." The congressman wants to know if the president will be able to gather more international support and would like to see more details about U.S. involvement after the strike.
The congressman also said he watched the British Parliament vote against a Syria strike "with some trepidation."
"Obviously those of us who serve in the Congress watched what the House of Commons did with some trepidation. The UK has always been at our side when we've undertaken these things, and this time, they're not, so there's a lot of questions about that," he said.
Longtime Democratic Rep. Sander Levin said he was a "yes" and expressed confidence that a majority of Congress would agree with him and will "step up to the plate."
"I've been here over 30 years, I think now and then we can go beyond politics, and this is one time we need to do this," the Michigan Democrat said.
Asked if he's aware of how a U.S. military involvement might end in Syria, Levin said, "I don't think anybody's quite sure, but I think we know where we need to start."