McConnell: Congress Would Back Obama on Action Against ISIS

Wednesday, 27 Aug 2014 07:58 PM

By Cathy Burke

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President Barack Obama will probably ask Congress for support in his increasingly active approach to Islamic State militants – and he'll likely get it, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell says.

"I think it would make sense for him to get our support," the Kentucky Republican senator told CNN on Wednesday after delivering a Chamber of Commerce speech.

"It's pretty clear ISIS is a serious threat. They have the potential to hit us here at home. He's the president of the United States and, if he's prepared to try to prevent that, I'm sure he will have a lot of congressional support."

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He also acknowledged that his support of the president in the midst of his own tough re-election campaign is unusual, but said it's necessary.

"The security of the nation comes first," he told CNN.

"I believe and others believe that ISIS could hit us here at home, and that trumps all other considerations, and I'm anxious to hear what the president has in mind and I think he's likely to get support."

In his earlier speech to the Chamber of Commerce in Nicholasville, Kentucky, McConnell gave Obama props for his strikes against ISIS troops that have been rampaging through northern Iraq.

"I think the president now, at this point this will shock you when I say it at this point, is doing the right thing," he told CNN even as he conceded that voters at home are war-weary after the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

"I know both wars were long," he told CNN. "The longer they go on, the more unpopular they get."

On the issue of ISIS, at least, McConnell isn't getting much of a fight from his Democratic opponent Alison Lundergan Grimes, who backs the limited airstrikes that have occurred so far – but wants the president to seek congressional approval for any further action.

"When there is extended military action, congressional approval is appropriate," she told CNN.

The United States has already conducted at least 100 airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq, The Hill reports, and has done so without congressional approval.

Administration officials say that if the president decides to hit ISIS targets in Syria, he may not ask for Congress' approval either.

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