WASHINGTON – Lawmakers used appearances on the Sunday news shows to repeat their concerns about the Syrian conflict and to push for U.S. action short of troops on the ground.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said the United States should be arming the rebels, using airstrikes to attack Syrian President Bashar Assad’s forces and creating a haven for refugees.

And “an international force” must be prepared to “secure those stocks of chemical weapons” should Assad fall, McCain said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Syria is “going to become a failed state by the end of the year” if the United States does not intervene, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” He warned of “a war with Iran, because Iran’s going to take our inaction in Syria as meaning we’re not serious about their nuclear weapons program. … the whole region is going to fall into chaos.”

The Obama administration said last week that the Syrian government probably used chemical weapons on a small scale against its own people, but that it was too soon to say whether that would trigger U.S. intervention.

“Knowing that, potentially, chemical weapons have been used inside of Syria doesn’t tell us when they were used, how they were used,” or provide “confirmation and strong evidence,” President Barack Obama said Friday.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers, R-Mich., said that classified information “strengthens the case that in fact some small amount of chemical weapons have been used over the course of the last two years.”

“So I think the options aren’t huge, but some action needs to be taken,” he said on ABC’s “This Week.” The red line against chemical weapons, he said, “can’t be a dotted line.” Like Graham, he said Iran — and North Korea — would be watching the U.S. response.

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., said on the same program that she appreciated Obama’s “deliberative approach” and that the erroneous reports of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq should be a reminder to act with caution.

“The American people are weary. They don’t want boots on the ground. I don’t want boots on the ground,” McCain said on “Meet the Press.” “The worst thing the United States could do right now is put boots on the ground in Syria” because it would turn public opinion in the country against the United States, he said.

But Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., said on CBS that “I don’t think you want to ever rule it out.” On the same program, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., called for some form of intervention without U.S. troops on the ground. “But the fact is, for America to sit on the sidelines and do nothing is a huge mistake, because the world is watching,” he said.