Congress not yet likely to approve Syrian arms aid, Rogers says

(CBS News) Members of Congress aren't likely to support a request from President Obama to send arms support to Syrian rebels, House Intelligence Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said Sunday on "Face the Nation," without a comprehensive outline of what the administration hopes to accomplish in the war-torn country.

"What is the plan? Where are we going in Syria? And what do you want to accomplish?" Rogers asked. "Some of the things that they've told us - told the Intelligence Committee - in the past doesn't comport with what they're presenting as the direction they want to go. So we've asked them to come up and say if we're going to move in this direction, you're going to have to come up with a more comprehensive plan."

Concluding that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government used chemical weapons against the rebels seeking to overthrow him, the White House on Thursday announced its intention to abandon its policy of providing to the rebels strictly nonlethal assistance and humanitarian aid. On Friday, the administration clarified that it would not send U.S. troops into the raging civil war, but was vague about the resources it planned to provide the rebels.

"It seems to me they have a great media strategy," Rogers said. "They don't have a great Syrian strategy, and I don't believe any of our members - and we had both Republicans and Democrats on the committee - express concern about where they think we are today, and where we think the administration wants to go.

"They've got a lot of explaining to do to come up and say, 'Here's our comprehensive plan on how we move forward on what is a catastrophic situation that's getting worse every single day in Syria,'" he continued.

Though the White House hasn't "gotten into the, kind of, individual puts and takes," Obama's Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said earlier on the program, "what we have said is that the scope and scale of our assistance - which has been robust heretofore - to the Syrian opposition council as well as to the Syrian military council; actually the fighters on the ground, that assistance will expand."

"We want to make sure that Syrians who want to take charge of their own country have the ability to do that," McDonough continued, but added: "We have to be very discerning about what's in our interest and what outcome is best for us, and the prices that we're willing to pay to get to that place.

"...We've rushed to war in this region in the past," he concluded. "We're not going to do it here."

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    Lindsey Boerma is senior video producer for CBSNews.com.

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