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Obama's request for Syrian aid runs into trouble

House members raise concerns as senators take up spending bill.
Committee Chairman Representative Buck McKeon (R-CA) (R) questions U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Defense Department General Counsel Stephen Preston about the Bergdahl prisoner exchange at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington June 11, 2014. Hagel on Wednesday defended the U.S. decision to trade five Taliban leaders at Guantanamo for war prisoner Bowe Bergdahl, insisting it was the right move but admitting failure to tell lawmakers hurt trust with Congress. Also pict

President Barack Obama's request for $500 million to train and equip vetted Syrian rebel groups is running into resistance from key lawmakers on Capitol Hill.

Members of the House Armed Services Committee on July 16 criticized the administration for failing to make the case for the assistance during a hearing on the president's FY2015 budget request for so-called Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO). Both Republicans and Democrats are worried that weapons could fall into the hands of Islamists battling Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, just as army equipment was captured by the Islamic State (formerly knows as the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS) in next-door Iraq.

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