Another Republican freshman, Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin, said in a statement that "it is not the responsibility of the United States to get involved in a country's civil war. Neither side in this civil war has the United States' best interest in mind."
Two GOP freshmen said they would support military action: Rep. Luke Messer of Indiana, president of the freshman class, and Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, an Iraq and Afghanistan war veteran who is trying to unseat Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor. Messer warned the administration that it must do more to rally support.
"America doesn't like to watch bullies stand by and do evil things to their people. But the American people inherently understand, intuitively understand, that there are high risks to action here too," Messer told Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the Joint Chiefs chairman, at a House hearing Wednesday.
"And if I were to make a suggestion, I think we've got a lot of work to do to help the American people understand why the risks of action are less than the risk of inaction," he said.
The top two Republicans in the House - Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia - support Obama on limited military action against Syria, but rank-and-file Republicans have repeatedly bucked the leadership this year, at least on domestic issues. A vote to authorize military force is a matter of conscience in which leadership is unlikely to pressure lawmakers.
Defense hawks such as Sen. John McCain, the GOP's 2008 presidential nominee and an aggressive proponent of military strikes, have little sway with House Republicans, especially the 100-plus who were elected in the past two elections. Many of the tea party-driven 2010 class and the 2012 lineup comprise the GOP's noninterventionist wing.
Potentially influential with freshmen is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group. In a statement this week, the organization urged lawmakers to back military force, saying, "Barbarism on a mass scale must not be given a free pass."
Walorski, the Indiana freshman, was part of a congressional group that traveled to Israel last month on a trip sponsored by the education foundation of AIPAC.
"We were standing on the Syrian border two weeks ago and the artillery fire - you could hear it, you could feel it in your feet, you could feel it in your chest, nonstop," Walorski said.
New York Rep. Chris Collins recalled staring across the Golan Heights into Syria.
"The Israeli position will carry some weight with me," Collins said in an interview. "They are the country that would bear the brunt of any kind of retaliation."