President Barack Obama said Tuesday that he has ordered the military to maintain its posture with respect to striking Syria even as Congress postpones a vote authorizing that strike.
Speaking from the East Wing, he said, "I've ordered our military to maintain their current posture to keep the pressure on Assad and to be in a position to respond if diplomacy fails."
Obama said that he asked Congress postpone the vote to wait for a diplomatic solution.
"I have therefore asked the leaders of Congress to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force while we pursue this diplomatic path. I'm sending Secretary of State John kerry to meet his Russian counterpart on Thursday and I will continue my own discussions with President Putin," he said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced Monday that the vote would be delayed. "What we need to do is make sure the president has the opportunity to speak to all 100 senators and all 300 million American people before we do this," he said.
Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of senators are working on an alternative resolution that would allow time for a diplomatic solution.