By Russell Berman - 09/06/13 08:38 PM EDT
The House could push back a vote on a resolution authorizing military strikes on Syria by as long as a week, according to a memo Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) sent to Republican lawmakers Friday.
“Understanding that there are differing opinions on both sides of the aisle, it is up to President Obama to make the case to Congress and to the American people that this is the right course of action,” Cantor wrote in a memo outlining the House GOP’s fall agenda. “Members should expect a robust debate and vote on an authorization of use of military force pertaining to Syria in the next two weeks.”
While Cantor and Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) support a resolution authorizing strikes, opposition is mounting among the Republican rank-and-file, and it is now likely that the House will wait until the Senate votes first. The Senate action could come next week, after the Foreign Relations Committee approved a revised force resolution on Wednesday.
President Obama is due to address the nation on Syria on Tuesday. He has said that military leaders have advised him that an attack against the Assad regime could be effective at any time.
In the memo, Cantor said the House would take up a stopgap spending bill to keep the federal government open beyond Sept. 30. The continuing resolution, he said, would maintain spending at sequestration levels. The House would also act to raise the debt limit before U.S. borrowing authority runs out in mid-October, Cantor said. He did not detail what the bill would include, but he said House Republicans “will demand fiscal reforms and pro-growth policies which put us on a path to balance in ten years in exchange for another increase in the debt limit.”
The House may “begin considering” immigration reform this fall, Cantor said, but he made no mention of legislation that would address the legal status of illegal immigrants.
“Before we consider any other reforms, it is important that we pass legislation securing our borders and providing enforcement mechanisms to our law enforcement officials,” he wrote.
Among the other items on the House agenda are bills to “dismantle, defund and delay ObamaCare,” enact cuts and reforms to the food stamp program, roll back environmental regulations to promote domestic energy production and shift federal money from political conventions to children’s medical research.