Whether or not the federal national security apparatus shuts down in October suddenly is all about Saudi Arabia, the Islamic State, Syrian rebel forces and lawmakers’ feelings about President Barack Obama.
The clock is ticking on whether the House will approve a massive government-wide funding bill to avert a federal shutdown at 12 a.m. EDT on Oct. 1. The lower chamber is dead set on leaving town to hit the midterm campaign trail for seven weeks, meaning it would have to pass a continuing resolution by next Friday evening.
If House members head to the airport without passing a stopgap spending measure, offices in the Pentagon and across the security complex will fall dark and quiet in October. And that will affect business in defense-industry offices in Rosslyn, Tyson’s Corner, Crystal City, and D.C.’s Navy Yard region.
But just how the House might avoid that remains murky. That’s because the House Republican leadership might include Obama’s request for new authorities to train and equip Syrian rebels in Saudi Arabia to fight IS in its CR, a prospect that has led to objections from members of both parties.
Next week looks to be a dramatic one on Capitol Hill. Here are three ways the CR and Syrian rebel training debate could play out, with some CongressWatch handicapping:
Most Likely: House passes two separate bills.
Under this scenario, which is favored by Republicans and Democrats, the new authorities to train and equip some Syrian opposition forces would be stripped from the House’s CR.
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