President Barack Obama’s decision to punt a possible strike against Syria to Congress has reshuffled the congressional calculus on Washington’s looming debt-ceiling debate and made Republican concessions more likely, say GOP congressional aides.
A House Republican aide told Reuters that Obama’s Syrian maneuver “would make it a lot harder to vote against a debt-ceiling increase given that we’re the party that tends to be more hard-line security and military supporters in the Reagan tradition.”
By forcing congress to debate and weigh in on a possible strike on Syria, Obama has increased the likelihood that congress will pass a short-term stop-gap funding measure, say analysts.
“Syria has really scrambled an incredibly crowded calendar,”says Guggenheim Securities political analyst Chris Krueger. “I think you have to say that the chance of a short-term extension has increased.”
Obama’s Syrian shuffle and the debt-ceiling showdown also have implications for Obamacare, just four weeks away from opening. Last week, 80 House Republicans sent a letter to Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) stating they would not grant a continuing resolution to extend government funding without denying Obamacare implementation funds. Obama’s decision to shift Syria to congress now complicates Republicans’ position during a time of possible war.
The United States is expected to hit the debt-ceiling in October.