President Barack Obama said he is confident Congress will agree to a military strike against Syria despite divisions. But a top aide said on NPR this morning that it’s unlikely the president will act without congressional approval. The New York Times and other news media reported the National Security Agency has succeeded in breaking encryption that keeps people’s personal data safe online. The Labor Department reported mixed news on summer unemployment numbers as the jobless rate dips to 7.3 percent. Prospects for an immigration overhaul have dimmed over the summer congressional recess. And the White House steps up its public relations campaign for health care enrollment. A panel of journalists joins guest host Susan Page for analysis of the week's top national news stories.
Olivier Knox of Yahoo! News discussed whether President Barack Obama set a precedent for future presidents when he asked Congress to agree to a military strike against Syria. David Leonhardt of The New York Times said it's a mark of a democracy when Congress is able to say yes or no to such a request. "We don't want a situation in the big picture in our country in which every time the president asks for the authorization to use force, Congress feels like it needs to do it for patriotic reasons," Leonhardt said.
A short-term fix for the nearly empty Highway Trust Fund is a step closer to President Obama's desk. Congress has been talking about the long-term problems with the construction account, but the two chambers have not agreed on a long-term solution.
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