“Under the Constitution, the responsibility to declare war lies with Congress," the leaders said in a statement. "We are glad the president is seeking authorization for any military action in Syria in response to serious, substantive questions being raised. In consultation with the president, we expect the House to consider a measure the week of September 9th. This provides the president time to make his case to Congress and the American people.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) is considering recalling the upper chamber for a vote early, however. TPM.com has more here.
In an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Kerry said blood and hair samples from emergency workers in east Damascus had tested positive for Sarin, a highly toxic nerve agent. He said that U.S. officials learned of the lab results in the past 24 hours, citing the evidence as yet another reason for Congress to pass President Obama’s request to authorize the use of military force against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The Washington Post has more here.
Affordable Care Act Insurance Marketplaces to Open Oct. 1 - The law’s new insurance marketplaces are scheduled to open for enrollment on Oct. 1, and supporters are ramping up a major education and outreach campaign as the date draws nearer.
The success or failure of the healthcare law doesn’t hinge entirely on Oct. 1, which falls on a Tuesday when Congress will be in session. But it’s nevertheless a critical date in the implementation effort, and will mark the public's first real look at the centerpiece of a law that has dominated domestic politics for years.
The White House has two big tasks over the next month: Make sure the new marketplaces are ready for prime time; and get people interested in signing up for coverage.
The public-relations push will get a big jolt this week from former President Clinton, who is scheduled to give a speech Wednesday making the case for the new law. TheHill.com has more here.