WASHINGTON — After six hours of debate, the House on Wednesday agreed to grant President Obama the authority to train and equip Syrian rebels as part of his plan to wipe out the so-called Islamic State.

WASHINGTON — After six hours of debate, the House on Wednesday agreed to grant President Obama the authority to train and equip Syrian rebels as part of his plan to wipe out the so-called Islamic State.


The measure, which was approved 273-156, found many supporters expressing misgivings about Obama’s overall strategy to eliminate the ISIS threat that has seized territory in Syria and Iraq.


Rep. Steve Womack, R-Rogers, took to the House floor to voice his concerns even as he announced his support for the measure.


"As a military officer, I am concerned that he (Obama) actually believes this limited use of military power can achieve the ultimate objective of destroying ISIL, a force that is 30,000 strong and growing by the day," Womack said. "However, we cannot sit idly by for another day because a step in the right direction is better than no step at all."


The entire Arkansas House delegation voted in support.


Rep. Tim Griffin, R-Little Rock, issued a statement saying that the resolution included "essential provisions" to ensure the president is held accountable for his approach to the terrorist threat.


Griffin also called for continued work to develop a long-term and effective strategy "to eradicate Islamic State terrorists that endanger our safety and freedom."


Rep. Rick Crawford, R-Jonesboro, also issued a statement noting that the resolution provides a limited window for the president to demonstrate that the strategy is working.


"Today’s authorization was written specifically to require a high degree of transparency and prescribed benchmarks," he said. "Should the President’s strategy fail to meet those criteria, the authority for those operations will expire on December 11th."


Rep. Tom Cotton, R-Dardanelle, who also voted for the authorization, issued a statement blaming Obama for ignoring ISIS for years.


"The Islamic State poses an immediate danger to the safety and security of Arkansans, and all Americans, and it’s past time that we confronted and destroyed this mortal enemy," he said.


Obama has announced plans to defeat ISIS through continued air strikes in Iraq and in Syria and increased support to those in Syria fighting against the Islamic State. The effort, he insists, will not include U.S. forces engaging directly in combat.


The ISIS authorization was included in a broader bill needed to keep the federal government operating beyond the fiscal year that ends Sept. 30. The "continuing resolution" now heads to the Senate.


Congress has not approved appropriations for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1. The continuing resolution would basically keep government programs funded at current levels through Dec. 11.


After this week, Congress is not expected to return to session until after the mid-term elections in November.