Also Monday, Kerry, Hagel and National Security Adviser Susan Rice were among the administration officials who spoke to 127 House Democrats by conference call to argue for a Syria strike.
Sources told NBC News that House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi came to the administration's defense, telling colleagues that preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction was an important piece of national security policy.
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Kerry told the call that Congress faces a "Munich moment," a reference to the 1938 agreement that ceded part of Czechoslovakia to Nazi Germany and that was judged by history to be an appeasement of Adolf Hitler.
Kerry will go before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
The president planned to fly overnight Tuesday to Sweden to meet with Scandinavian leaders there. He arrives Thursday in Russia for a meeting of the Group of 20 world economic powers.
Among those countries are Russia and China, which both have veto power in the United Nations Security Council—and would presumably block any American attempt to secure U.N. support for a Syria strike.
Obama, preparing to argue his case before Congress and the American public, said Saturday,"We should have this debate, because the issues are too big for business as usual."
(Read more: Syria's chemical weapons aren't a simple target)