Domestic Policy Falls by the Wayside in Syria War Debate

Much easier to discuss killing foreigners than to debate screwing your own constituents


President Obama's decision to seek congressional approval of military strikes against Syria threatens to make an already contentious fall agenda on Capitol Hill even more unstable, heightening the chance of political gridlock.

Congressional leaders, who will return Monday after a five-week break, had planned to use September to position their caucuses for a showdown over government funding levels and a bid to increase the federal debt limit, the third clash over the debt since 2011. The two sides are also jockeying over a proposed immigration overhaul and a continuing struggle over the farm bill, which was a victim of a conservative revolt over food stamps.