At the United Nations Monday, President Barack Obama touted what are probably the two biggest items left on his to-do list before leaving office — a global warming agreement later this year in Paris and a settlement to the Syria conflict. Congress barely got a mention
The Paris accord, like the Iran deal before it, will be strictly an executive agreement, given that Obama wouldn’t have the votes to pass anything in either chamber. Prospects seem to have improved for getting a deal after last week’s agreement with China, which has announced plans to implement a cap-and-trade scheme and push for a global accord in France. Congress, if it gets a chance to weigh in at all, will be via an effort to disapprove Obama’s carbon regulations.
Obama’s hopes for resolving the Syria conflict, meanwhile, rests on Russia and Iran, given that the White House has not been able to articulate a strategy that would both destroy the Islamic State terror group, also known as ISIS, and force Syria President Bashar Assad from power. Congress, of course, hasn’t even been able to hash out a use-of-force resolution targeting ISIS, let alone agree on a broader Syria policy, and Obama’s left to jawbone Russia and Iran to do the right thing.