Congress has a responsibility to get past its partisan divisions and put unify to ensure the protection of the United States against the threat of the Islamic State, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., said Sunday.
"I do think Congress can be brought together, Ayotte told CBS "Face the Nation" host Bob Schieffer. "First, it starts with presidential leadership, but Congress has to recognize and listen to what our defense officials are saying, that this is an imminent threat to us."
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Ayotte represents the home state of executed American journalist James Foley, and said her constituents, like all Americans, are concerned about "what happened to him, this terrorist attack against our country," and Congress has to come together to "put the protection of this nation first, beyond partisan divide."
President Barack Obama has come under intense criticism for continuing his vacation during the Foley murder, as well as the ongoing situation in Ferguson, Mo., but Ayotte, a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said she does not begrudge his vacation.
However, there was a "disconnect" when he spoke about Foley and then going golfing the next day, she said, and the president needs to look at the perception that caused.
"What I want from him is a strategy to defeat ISIS," said Ayotte. "A containment strategy is not going to cut it: we need a strategy to defeat ISIS."
The group is an "imminent threat" to the United States because of its sophistication, funding, and controlled territory, she said.
Meanwhile, she said she has been in contact with Foley's parents, and said she is impressed with the strength they have shown.
"We can't forget that Jim Foley was a brave journalist, Ayotte said. "He was on the front lines. He had a passion for the truth and I know that they are very proud of their son, as are all of us for what he was doing to try to bring the truth to America about what is happening in Syria and other conflict regions."
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