I'm Carl Azuz.
Welcome to CNN STUDENT NEWS.
The U.S. government is considering taking action against Syria because of the suspected use of chemical weapons in that country's civil war.
Syrian officials deny using of chemical weapons,
but President Obama says there is doubt the Syrian government is responsible.
He wants to launch a military strike against Syria.
And he has the power to order that, but last week, he decided to ask Congress for approval.
Congress isn't in session until September 9th,
before then the president is meeting with congressional leaders and making his case for an attack.
Today, we are focusing on some of the key players in the debate over possible U.S. military action.
When it comes to Syria and the U.S.,
the focus is now on Congress, especially leaders in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives who can influence other members of their parties.
Speaker John Boehner leads the U.S. House of Representatives where his Republican Party is in the majority.
The speaker presides over the House and has certain line to the presidency.
Boehner took over that job from Nancy Pelosi,
the former speaker is now the House minority leader, the highest ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives.
Balance of power in the U.S. Senate is the reverse, with Democrats outnumbering Republicans.
Senator Harry Reid is the majority leader there, responsible for deciding which issues the Senate takes up on a day to day basis.
Reid has served in Congress since 1983, and has been a senator since 1987.
Senator Mitch McConnell is the Senate minority leader.
And its highest Republican.
McConnell has been serving the state of Kentucky in Congress since he was first elected to the Senate in 1984.
The senator is responsible for confirming members of the president's cabinet, and two members of President Obama's cabinet played a large role in the discussion of Syria.
John Kerry became secretary of state in February of this year, as the head of the State Department.
Secretary Kerry is the president's chief advisor on foreign policy, and he's responsible for carrying out the president's policies with regard to other nations.
Chuck Hagel, head of the U.S. Defense Department, which oversees all branches of the U.S. military as Defense secretary.
Hagel advises President Obama on military issues and is responsible for carrying out approved policies.
General Martin Dempsey is the primary military adviser to Secretary Hagel and President Obama.
General Dempsey is chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, and the senior ranking member of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Leaders in Congress, members of the president's cabinet and military leaders, will all have a voice in the debate over whether the U.S. takes action against Syria.