Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | Marco Rubio | Rand Paul

Sen. Marco Rubio: Forget Timeline, Just Focus On Defeating ISIS

Image: Sen. Marco Rubio: Forget Timeline, Just Focus On Defeating ISIS
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By    |   Friday, 12 Dec 2014 10:16 AM

Members of Congress should be focusing their attention on the best means to achieve victory against ISIS, not on how to limit the length of time spent trying to defeat the Islamic terrorist group, says Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

"These are the issues we should be debating, not when the war will end or what types of force can be used to win it. It’s time for members of Congress to ensure that the president has the flexibility and authority he needs to keep America safe, not to further tie his hands," writes Rubio, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, in a Washington Post column.

"[I]instead of giving the president what he needs to win this struggle, many in the Senate seem more focused on telling him what he should not do. They argue that we need to place conditions on the types of force that can be used or impose a timeline by which victory must be achieved," Rubio contends, echoing an argument he made yesterday during a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

"I think that any time we act with Congress's approval of the president's actions, it makes it stronger. But legally, I think he has the right to pursue emerging threats to the U.S., and ISIL is certainly that," he said, referring to an effort by Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul, who attempted to force a vote on a declaration of war against ISIS, reports The National Journal.

Paul and Rubio are both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates.

The issue arose as the committee was addressing an unrelated water bill that was under consideration and Paul attempted to attach a Declaration of War against the terror group, a move which was designed to push the committee to vote on an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF), reports Roll Call.

The full Senate is unlikely to have an opportunity to vote on the AUMF before its session concludes.

Paul's move was supported by Democrats, such as New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, who want Congress to vote on an AUMF before it leaves Washington.

Eventually Paul opted not to introduce his amendment, but the debate highlights what could be a heated debate in the presidential primary over which direction the GOP takes on foreign policy.

Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker agrees Congress should have its voice heard on whether to authorize the president to take action against ISIS, but disagrees with starting the process in the committee.

“I know we’re not going to get to a place [today] where the House and Senate are going to pass an authorization. And I just want to say that we weaken our nation when we begin a process like that and not actually enact it into law. I also think we hurt our nation when we attempt to pass something out on a partisan basis,” said Corker.

On Thursday, the committee did pass by a 10-8 vote a measure to authorize President Barack Obama's war against ISIS, but also greatly restricted the use of ground forces and placed a limit on the operation of three years, according to The Washington Post.

All Republican members of the panel voted against the bill, but Paul cast his no vote because he felt the measure was not strong enough in limiting the president's authority.

“The administration maintains that a war resolution that had us going against the people who attacked us on 9/11 has something to do with ISIL. I think that’s absurd on the face and almost embarrassing that anyone even makes that argument,” said Paul, according to The New York Times, adding that "the limitations have to come from a coequal branch or they’re not of any value."

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Members of Congress should be focusing their attention on the best means to achieve victory against ISIS, not on how to limit the length of time spent trying to defeat the Islamic terrorist group, says Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.
Marco Rubio, Rand Paul
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2014-16-12
Friday, 12 Dec 2014 10:16 AM
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