Tags: Emerging Threats | Homeland Security | ISIS/Islamic State | War on Terrorism | classified | briefing | ISIL

Republicans: We Were Not Told of White House Briefing on ISIS

Image: Republicans: We Were Not Told of White House Briefing on ISIS
Rep. Tom Marino. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 08:24 PM

The Obama administration is scheduled to brief members of Congress about the Islamic State (ISIS) on Friday after the beheading of two American journalists, but several Republicans on key committees involved told Newsmax on Thursday that they knew nothing about the classified session.

The briefing is to be conducted by officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Counterterrorism Center, news reports say.

The officials are expected to brief members of the congressional leaders' staffs, as well as the House Intelligence Committee, Foreign Affairs Committee, Armed Services Committee, and the defense and foreign operations appropriations subcommittees.

Secretary of State John Kerry is also scheduled to testify before the Foreign Affairs Committee the week of Sept. 15, an aide said.

Rep. Ed Royce, chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said Kerry would testify on whether the administration has developed a strategy against ISIS.

"The president said his administration had no strategy against ISIS two weeks ago, despite it long being on the march," Royce said. "The administration is sending mixed messages now.

"ISIS is a serious threat to U.S. national security," he said. "The committee needs to hear a comprehensive strategy from Secretary Kerry on how the administration is going to confront this brutal and sophisticated terrorist group.”

A Royce spokeswoman did not respond to a Newsmax query late Thursday on whether the chairman was informed of Friday's session.

Others say they were not.

"I've received no notice of any such briefing," Pennsylvania Rep. Tom Marino told Newsmax. "As a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I am disgusted that this administration refuses to engage with Congress on a critical national-security issue where we could potentially agree.

"Unfortunately, that's nothing new," Marino added. "We know that this president would rather use and abuse executive power than have discussions with the elected representatives of the American people."

Kevin Fogarty, a spokesman for New York Rep. Peter King, said that "the congressman was not informed of the meeting or briefing." King sits on the Intelligence Committee.

A spokesman for a GOP member of the Armed Services Committee told Newsmax that the congressman was not told of the briefing.

Newsmax queried press representatives of 15 ranking GOP members of the panels. Only five responded, with three saying the legislators were not told of the session. Two referred Newsmax to House Speaker John Boehner's office, which did not respond to queries seeking comment.

Representatives of five top Democrats on the panels also did not respond to Newsmax queries.

Congress is scheduled to return from its recess on Monday.

The classified session comes as President Barack Obama faces widespread criticism from members of both political parties for lacking a strategy for defeating ISIS.

In Estonia on Wednesday, Obama said the United States would seek to diminish ISIS to "a manageable problem," while Vice President Joe Biden declared at a navy yard in New Hampshire that "we will follow them to the gates of hell until they are brought to justice."

The comments followed Obama's acknowledgment last week that "we don't have a strategy yet" to deal with ISIS in Syria.

ISIS beheaded two American journalists, James Foley, 40, of Rochester, N.H., and Steven Sotloff, 31, of Miami. The terrorists posted their executions in videos on the Internet.

The U.S. resumed airstrikes on Iraq last month after ISIS gained ground in its quest to establish a caliphate in Syria and Iraq. Three top Islamic State members, including an aide to leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, were reportedly killed by an airstrike Wednesday in Iraq.

Obama would need congressional approval to expand the airstrikes or to continue them for more than 60 days.

"At this point, I would simply like to see the president and members of his inner circle clearly define the threat and set a goal to defeat ISIS," Marino told Newsmax. "We can debate strategy and tactics later, but the president first needs to acknowledge the threat, recognize the evil nature of this enemy and its beliefs, and convey to the American people our determination to defeat them."

Other Republicans called on the president to develop a plan for ISIS, also known as ISIL.

"The U.S. position against ISIL must be clear and concise, but the administration sending mixed messages is not helpful during this time of unrest in the Middle East," said Florida Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee. "We cannot operate in a pre-9/11 mentality because the global threat of ISIL is real and poses a serious threat to our national security and stability in the region.

"As Congress returns to Washington, the White House must bring forward as soon as possible its plan to combat this threat and make its case to the American people," Ros-Lehtinen said.

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told fellow Republicans on Thursday that the administration has been "too passive" on ISIS and other Islamic jihadists.

In his first memo as majority leader, the Californian chided the White House over a recent U.S. Forest Service report on roasting marshmallows with such healthy ingredients as fruit instead of chocolate.

"For the things that government is supposed to do — like confront terrorist groups — we don't have a strategy," McCarthy said, "but for things Americans are supposed to be able to do for themselves — like figuring out the best ingredients for s'mores — government bureaucrats have that figured out."

Congress is expected to adjourn again later this month, not returning until mid-November after the congressional elections.

Reuters contributed to this report.

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

 
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
The Obama administration is scheduled to brief members of Congress about the Islamic State (ISIS) on Friday after the beheading of two American journalists, but several Republicans on key committees involved told Newsmax on Thursday that they knew nothing about the classified session.
classified, briefing, ISIL, Republicans
918
2014-24-04
Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 08:24 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved