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Collateral damage: Slow congressional resolution on Syria further delays vital budget negotiations

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Not too long ago ago, the nation was obsessed with the perils of the fiscal cliff. Lawmakers vowed to tangle with the federal debt and right the economy. Now Congress faces another budget battle at month’s end, and the dire prospect of a government shut down should funds actually run out.

So let’s solve the Syria crisis, says Fox Business Network’s Washington correspondent Rich Edson. It’s time for clarity, and the real business at hand, he tells The Watercooler.

“This debate lacks a concise, compelling argument from the President of the United States. Absent that, there’s a possibility a bipartisan majority rejects granting the administration the authority it says it already has. Beyond the domestic politics and international consequences, failure to encourage a quick congressional resolution on Syria further delays the next round of budget negotiations,” Mr. Edson explains.

Here’s the situation.

“Government discretionary spending authority expires with the end of the month, though it appears the House could pass a measure this week to delay this debate until December. The Treasury says the federal government will breach its borrowing limit in mid-October. The administration says it refuses to negotiate over the debt ceiling,” he continues.

“Republicans have yet to decide on an opening offer. Long-term budget discussions have demonstrated only that Republicans and Democrats remain trillions of dollars apart on taxes and spending. Mixing in a lengthy debate over Syria intervention further complicates the fiscal discussions,” Mr.Edson says.

“If the president can provide the clarity skeptics say they need for their support, it may bring the Syria debate to an earlier conclusion and provide Congress more time to revisit yet another round of budget fighting. Failure to do so compresses the negotiating window Congress has to resolve issues where there is little indication of compromise,” Mr. Edson concludes.

He will join Fox Business Network anchor Neil Cavuto for a special report surrounding the president’s address on Tuesday evening.

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