Obama’s request appeared to face enormous hurdles from the start.
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President Obama won a major foreign policy victory Wednesday when the House granted him new authority to train and equip Syrian rebels fighting against Islamic militants in the Middle East.

He is an unpopular commander in chief pushing for contentious new war powers from a recalcitrant Congress just weeks before high-stakes midterm elections.

Yet the 273-156 vote, a rare case of bipartisan cooperation in a Congress practically defined by its partisan discord, gave the president exactly what he wanted.

Many liberals opposed the measure for fear of getting bogged down in another prolonged conflict overseas; many conservatives rejected the notion of expanding the powers of a president they don’t trust; and the American public has long been weary of war after more than a decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.