Ed Markey, D-Massachusetts (Kerry's successor)
3:23 p.m. ET -- On the other side of Capitol Hill, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has started holding a final vote on the resolution.
3:14 p.m. ET -- Rep. George Holding, R- North Carolina, asks Dempsey if Russia would be capable or willing to strike the U.S. in retaliation for the U.S. using force in Syria, a close ally of Russia. Dempsey says "it would not be helpful in this setting to speculate about that," adding that's something they can discuss in a classified setting.
Kerry points to Russia's foreign minister, who has indicated they're not willing to go to war over Syria.
3:05 p.m. ET -- A lot of questions are being asked about the U.S. endgame and how America hopes to achieve it. Maj. Gen. James Marks spoke to CNN's Piers Morgan last month about that very issue. He, too, seemed to think the overall objective was being omitted.
3 p.m. ET -- Calling his decision a "miracle of miracles," Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, says he supports the president's proposal to take action in Syria. The freshman congressman is a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Cotton says he would also like to see a regime change.
2:57 p.m. ET -- Though Dempsey is downplaying the possibility of a Hezbollah or Syria retaliatory strike on U.S. assets abroad, CNN reported this week that the U.S. had beefed up security ahead of a possible Syria strike.
2:54 p.m. ET -- Rep. Adam Kinzinger , R-Illinois, discusses Obama critics' assertion that attacking Syria will make the U.S. "al Qaeda's air force." CNN's Nic Robertson earlier this year looked into reports that the strongest rebel group had ties to the terror organization.
2:37 p.m. ET -- Rep. Jeff Duncan, R-South Carolina, also slams the Obama administration for being quick to want to intervene in Syria, but was "reluctant" to act quickly to rescue the four Americans who died in the terrorist attack against a U.S. consulate in Benghazi last year. Duncan questions whether the "power of the executive branch is so intoxicating" to steer Kerry away from his normally cautious self and pull the trigger "so quickly."
Kerry, clearly aggravated, takes issue with Duncan's premise that Kerry routinely advocates caution. "I volunteered to fight for my country, and that wasn't a cautious thing to do when I did it."
When Duncan tries to interrupt, Kerry shoots back: "I'm going to finish, congressman."
"When I was in the United States Senate, I supported military action in any number of locations, including Grenada, Panama, I could run a list of them. I am not going to sit here and be told by you I don't have a sense of what the judgment is with respect to this. We're talking about people being killed by gas, and you want to go talk about Benghazi and Fast and Furious."
Duncan replies: "Absolutely I want to talk about it." He holds up a photo of one of the slain SEALs in Benghazi.
Kerry argues the Obama administration has been acting cautiously, which is why the president waited until he had more evidence to make his decision.
"This is not about getting into Syria's civil war. This is about enforcing the principle that people shouldn't be allowed to gas their citizens with impunity," he says. "Let's draw the proper distinction here, congressman. We don't deserve to drag this into yet another Benghazi discussion when the real issue here is whether or not the Congress is going to stand up for international norms."
2:28 p.m. ET -- Rep. Tom Marino,R- Pennsylvania, asks if Hagel trusts the opposition forces in Syria. Hagel says it's "not his business to trust--"
Marino interrupts, "Well certainly it has to be in the business because you're making decisions to go into war and put American lives at risk, so it's a simple concept: you either trust or do not trust."
He wants to know what will be gained by U.S. intervention and if a military strike would actually stop the killing. At least one expert, Fawaz Gerges of the London School of Economics, has told CNN that U.S. involvement would only complicate and exacerbate" the situation.
2:24 p.m. ET -- While Kerry says he is hopeful that Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin will have a productive talk, a story earlier today indicated that Putin would be open to a military strike if he is presented with data that Syria actually used chemical weapons.
2:22 p.m. ET -- Dempsey elaborates on the risks of retaliation in the region of military strikes in response to a question from Rep. Karen Bass, D-California.
"There's both conventional risks, that would be if he chose to use some of his long range rockets to attack his neighbors or some of our facilities," he says. "There's also asymmetric. He could encourage some of the surrogates and proxies such as Lebanese Hezbollah to attack an embassy. There's actions that he could probably seek to achieve in cyber. We are alert to all possibilities and are mitigating strategies in the way we've positioned ourselves in the region."
2:14 p.m. ET -- "There are more volunteers than we can use in this kind of operation," Kerry says, answering a question from Rep. Matt Salmon, R-Arizona, about how many countries are offering support.
2:06 p.m. ET -- Rep. Ted Poe, R-Texas, asks Dempsey if the military has a contingency plan in case U.S. military action in the Middle East escalates into something bigger than a limited strike in Syria.
Dempsey responds: "Yes"