Syria

via White House video stream

(Updated 5:37 P.M. Thr., Sept. 18)

The Senate voted Thursday to approve a $1 trillion stop-gap spending plan to keep the federal government operating until December 11.  The measure also contains the authorization for the Pentagon to train and equip Syrian Rebels in the fight against the Islamic State, or ISIS.  The measure was approved on a 78-22 vote and now goes to the President.  

Read our earlier story below:

If ever a speech seemed to be President Obama's last, best chance to win public and congressional support for his plan to launch military strikes against Syria, it's his prime-time talk to the nation Tuesday.

With polls indicating that 60 percent of Americans oppose action against Syria for using sarin gas and congressional approval looking ever more like a long shot, Obama's speech is a high-stakes endeavor.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Last updated 3:28 p.m. Sept. 16. May be updated further.

As the situation regarding a U.S. military action in Syria continues to change, members of congress from Missouri and Illinois have voiced where they stand on the issue. We have a running list of their opinions and updates for you below.

Current Local Vote Tally:

Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Reporting by WSIU's Jennifer Fuller.

A southern Illinois Congressman says the United States shouldn’t get involved in Syria – and worries any form of attack would put this country and its allies at greater risk.

Representative John Shimkus, R-Collinsville says the alleged use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government on civilians is an international issue – one the U.S. shouldn’t take the lead on.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

With the likelihood of a U.S. strike on Syria, some are saying the country may come under a terrorist attack in retaliation. What kind of attack could take place, and how ready is St. Louis to weather it?

(State Department Video)

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday that 1,429 Syrians were killed by chemical weapons in an attack by the Assad regime on August 21.

While Kerry said the question is not over evidence but what the United States and the international community will do about it, President Barack Obama said he had made no decisions yet.

Professor Krister Knapp, a senior lecturer in the Department of History in Arts & Sciences at Washington University, says if the president asks Congress to weigh in, he may not get the support he wants.

Though Great Britain won't be joining in any military action aimed at Syria, it appears the White House is determined to go ahead — most likely within the next few days and most likely with missile strikes.

We'll be following the news throughout the day and over the weekend. As Friday dawns, here's where things stand:

(Senator McCaskill's Flickr Account)

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) says officials are considering the best response to evidence that the embattled Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad, may have used chemical weapons against his own people.   

First, she said officials are exploring humanitarian options to help the King of Jordan, Abdullah II bin al-Hussein, deal with a flood of refugees crossing his border with Syria, which could uproot the regime of the valued U.S. ally.