Once Congress has received the AUMF, Corker said that his committee would hold additional hearings on the matter before conducting a mark-up. Given that members began discussions on the issue last year, Corker said, he doesn't not expect "a long, long process," but would not offer additional insights as to his timeline.
Still, Corker said he expected amendments to the language from members on both sides of the aisle. But he said he would keep the White House informed of those changes, keeping the lines of communication between members of Congress and the administration open. "We usually work real closely with them even on the changes that you're attempting to make because of the seriousness of what it is," Corker said.
House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer said Tuesday he thought his chamber could take up the AUMF language as early as March.
Though House leaders and relevant committee chairs have been briefed, rank and file House Republicans, most of whom did not begin streaming back into Washington until Tuesday afternoon, were mostly out of the loop about the specifics of the AUMF. The expected proposal is likely to come up in a closed-door GOP conference meeting Wednesday morning. Eggleston was slated to brief GOP leaders and key House chairmen Tuesday night.
Still, sources in the conference said the battle lines would most likely materialize based on ideology. Over the past few years, the conference has been marked by divisions among defense-minded hawks and libertarian-leaning isolationists. Within those groups, there are divisions about whether the administration should be granted more leeway to conduct a ground war, if it so chooses. That could leave a narrow window within which the administration can muster the necessary GOP votes to pass the measure.
Speaker John Boehner urged the administration in a press conference last week to take the lead in reaching out to Congress and the public in order to make the case for his proposal.
Complicating matters is a continuing distrust of Obama and his ability to carry out the fight against the Islamic State. Obama's recent comments at a prayer breakfast, during which he pointed out that past atrocities had been committed in the name of Christianity as well as other religions, are giving some Republicans pause about his commitment to fighting what they see as a broader enemy.
"Until he comes out and says radical extreme Islam is the enemy, he's going to have detractors in the Republican Party," said one leadership-aligned Republican House member, speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal GOP Conference dynamics.
The White House's strategy is expected to be a major component of additional hearings on the AUMF, which Corker's office is already in the process of setting up. Corker argued that the administration's overall strategy is even more significant than the language of the AUMF itself. "At the end of the day if you look at what the '01 authorization was, it was 60 words. "¦ The concepts are what matter," he said.
Corker said he's focused on providing an open process for members to weigh in on the matter, from both sides of the aisle. "The Authorization for the Use of Military Force is one of the most important votes that people make," Corker said.
Alex Brown, Fawn Johnson, and Rachel Roubein contributed to this article