U.S. military action in Syria could give the White House an advantage in the looming fiscal showdown with congressional Republicans, according to defense and budget experts.
They said the Syria crisis could boost calls by President Obama and defense hawks to reverse the automatic spending cuts to the Pentagon known as sequestration.
Steve Bell, a budget expert at the Bipartisan Policy Center, said if the U.S. moves forward with military action, it will underline the arguments of those who say keeping the sequester in place impairs U.S. military readiness.
“I think it has the possibility of advancing fiscal talks, I really do,” he said.
He argued that if strikes against Syria are launched, it will be “very, very difficult to insist” on the defense sequester.
“Under those circumstances, I can see a [2014 continuing resolution] that would contain full funding for defense,” he said.