WASHINGTON - Sen. Robert Menendez is presiding over hearings on Capitol Hill that will impact whether the United States conducts a military strike on Syria.

As a member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, Menendez spent Tuesday listening to a number of high-level military and civilian officials discuss their views on the crisis. The Democratic senator has publicly supported plans to launch a missile offensive, but is cautious about having American troops on the ground.

He confronted Secretary of State John Kerry on the issue, only to receive a conditional response. "It would be preferable not to," said Kerry on sending soldiers overseas. "But... I don't want to take off the table an option that might or might not be available to the president of the United States to secure our country."

Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner announced his support for the president's plan.