POSTED: Monday, April 29, 2013 - 8:00am
UPDATED: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - 10:18am
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — Lawmakers continue to consider various options for the United States in Syria.
One thing lawmakers agree on: the U.S. must send a strong signal to the Assad Regime, and others watching - underscored by new violence in Damascus today.
Just in this morning from Syria's state news agency: the country's prime minister survived an assassination attempt.
His convoy was bombed. There are varying reports of other deaths and injuries.
And now the U.S. has some evidence Syria's government may have used chemical weapons on its own people.
President Obama had called that a "red line" for action. Now, he's cautious. "Knowing that potentially chemical weapons have been used inside Syria, doesn't tell us when they were used, how they were used," said President Barack Obama.
There's pressure from Capitol Hill to act soon. "For America to sit on the sidelines and do nothing is a huge mistake," said Senator Saxby Chambliss, Georgia.
"More than just Syria, Iran is paying attention to this. North Korea is paying attention to this," said Rep. Mike Rogers, Michican.
What is still unclear is what type of action, a no-fly zone, air strikes, ground troops. "The worst thing the American people -- the United States could do right now is put boots on the ground in Syria," said Senator John McCain, Arizona.
Lawmakers are also concerned. If there are chemical weapons, the question is how quickly could the U.S. secure them. "The day after Assad is the day that these chemical weapons could be at risk," said Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Illinois.
"If we assist the rebels, al Qaeda could take advantage of that," said Rep. Peter King, New York.
The U.S. continues to weigh its options, as the threat of conflict becomes more likely.