A vote on a resolution authorizing military strikes on Syria in the U.S. House of Representatives could be pushed back as long as a week, Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in a memo sent to Republican lawmakers on 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,” the Virginia congressman wrote in a memo outlining the House GOP’s fall agenda.
News of Cantor's memo was first reported by The Hill
“Members should expect a robust debate and vote on an authorization of use of military force pertaining to Syria in the next two weeks,” Cantor said.
Last week, the top four members of the House Republican leadership said they expected the lower chamber to consider a Syria resolution “the week of September 9th.”
Both Cantor and Speaker John Boehner of Ohio support a resolution authorizing strikes, but opposition is mounting among rank-and-file GOP legislators, the Hill reports.
The memo, however, indicates that House will most likely wait until the Senate votes first — and that could come next week, since the Senate Foreign Relations Committee backed a compromise strike resolution on a 10-7 vote on Wednesday. One senator voted "present."
President Barack Obama is scheduled to address the nation on Syria on Tuesday from the White House.
In addition, Cantor said that the House would take up a stop-gap spending bill to keep the federal government open beyond Sept. 30, the Hill reports. The continuing resolution, he said, would maintain spending at sequestration levels.
The House also plans to raise the debt limit before U.S. borrowing authority runs out in mid-October, Cantor said, according to the Hill.
On immigration reform, the House may “begin considering” comprehensive legislation this fall, he added, but Cantor did not say whether any bill 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 said in the memo, the Hill reports.
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