Wary House lawmakers are demanding that President Barack Obama ask for congressional approval before taking any military action in an increasingly unstable Iraq.
In a letter signed by 80 lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, which was posted by The Hill
Thursday, House members insist "the use of military force is something the Congress should fully debate and authorize."
"Members of Congress must consider all the facts and alternatives before we can determine whether military action" would help stabilize the worsening security and political chaos inside Iraq, the letter contends.
The letter was posted the same day Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey
testified Iraqi government forces probably won't be able to retake land lost to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria forces, possibly paving the way for more U.S. involvement.
President Obama has already announced he's sending another 300 troops
Approximately 750 U.S. soldiers are there already, The Hill
Obama has said he doesn't need approval
from Congress to take action in the Iraq crisis, but the House lawmakers are concerned.
"There is a little thing called the Constitution," Massachusetts Democratic Rep. John Tierney told the Boston Globe.
"I am not in favor of inching troops there more and more."
In their letter, House lawmakers praised Obama for his restraint so far, and noted they "do not believe intervention could either be quick or easy," warning any action could prove "counter-productive."
"Any solution to this complex crisis can only be achieved through political settlement, and only if the process and outcome is inclusive of all segments of the Iraqi population — anything short of that cannot successfully bring stability to Iraq or the region," the lawmakers wrote.
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