Welcome back, Congress!

Members of Congress will return from their five-week break today and resume work on a number important issues that they hope to finish by year’s end. However, debate over the potential military strike against Syria has jumped to the top of the to-do list. What will Congress be able to take care of now that they are back in session?

Cantor Outlines Ambitious Agenda for Remaining Months of 2013 Session (National Journal)

Syria Resolution Could Stall Congress’s Work on Divisive Domestic Issues (Washington Post)

Congress Returns to Washington with Full Agenda, Syria Topping List (Fox News)

The President has made it clear that he does not want the resolution to use force against Syria to fail, so he is paying the Senate a visit to speak with fellow Democrats. Presidential visits to Congress are a key way the Administration tries to sway swing votes when it is unclear whether or not a contentious measure will pass.

Obama to Visit Senate Democrats on Tuesday (Politico)

Some Democrats are concerned that opposing the President will weaken him and their party in negotiations on other issues later this year. But on the other hand, the strikes are unpopular with the public. “Family fights are not good politics,” we write in Surviving Inside Congress. Will the Democrats learn that firsthand in this case?

Fears of Wounding Obama Weigh Heavily on Democrats Ahead of Vote (The Hill)