While President Obama did not request an emergency session of Congress to consider military intervention in Syria, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) said in a Saturday statement, “I believe Congress should return to Washington immediately and begin to debate this issue.” The President suggested in his Saturday address that there is no imminent threat requiring the Commander in Chief to act without consulting the representatives of the American people.
Obama said he believes he has the authority to strike Syria militarily but has decided to get Congressional approval for any military action first. House Speaker John Boehner has said the House will consider a measure on the matter on the week of Sept. 9 when Congress returns from August recess.
Adding this into the congressional calendar severely threatens the ability to deal with the nation’s budget and debt ceiling before their respective deadlines as well as immigration legislation. Rubio, a member of the Senate’s “Gang of Eight,” stands to lose politically if the House kills his efforts to pass immigration reform, and Boehner waiting the already-scheduled extra week and a half to bring Congress back from recess could kill those efforts once and for all.
Rubio was heckled and ridiculed by Tea Partiers at an event in Orlando, FL this weekend when he took the stage to push Obamacare defunding efforts. He did not talk about immigration reform during his speech, but conservative activists in the audience yelled “No amnesty!” at him during his address.
Rep. Raul Labrador (R-ID), who was a member of the House version of the Senate’s “Gang of Eight” but left the group because House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pushed for illegal aliens to get Obamacare benefits and amnesty, also called on Boehner to bring the House back early. In his statement calling for Boehner to bring the House back, Labrador specifically noted that immigration legislative efforts would be halted if a special session was not called.
“If the Speaker waits until September 9, the war debate will compress the already limited time that Congress has to deal with other issues, from the budget to the debt ceiling to immigration,” Labrador said. “The debate over Syria is too important to be delayed or compressed by other issues. We owe it to the American people to fulfill our responsibilities under the Constitution, and to do so in a timely way that respects the democratic process.”
Boehner said Saturday he is not bringing the House back early, while CNN reported Reid is considering bringing the Senate back early.