Tags: ISIS/Islamic State | congress | vote | authorization

Rep. Buck McKeon: 'Lame Ducks' Should Not Make Final ISIS Vote

By    |   Monday, 29 September 2014 06:38 PM

There is growing talk in Washington of wanting the post-November elections Congress to authorize more military force in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).

Several politicians, including Speaker of the House John Boehner, have said the situation deserves a vote after the new Congress is put in place. Voting on something that would not affect outgoing politicians is not prudent, said Rep. Buck McKeon, R-Calif..

"Lame ducks, with little accountability, should not make an AUMF the final vote of their term," McKeon, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, wrote in the Washington Post.

"Incoming representatives will oversee this conflict, and they should bear the responsibility for authorizing it — even if that means a vote can't take place until January."

McKeon is retiring at the end of the year.

Boehner has said a vote after the new Congress takes office would be a good idea, but on Sunday he told ABC News that bringing Congress back to the Capitol before the election for a special vote is something he would support as well. Congress has been in recess since Sept. 19. 

"I'd be happy to," Boehner told ABC when asked if he would call back the House for a special vote. "The president has not done that. He believes he has authority under existing resolutions to do what he’s done."

Republicans and Democrats have cried foul over President Barack Obama's decision to move forward with airstrikes on ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria without the approval of Congress. Obama has pledged he would not put U.S. soldiers on the ground, but others say that is what needs to happen in order to defeat the group.

Obama has also authorized the U.S. military to train and equip Syrian rebels in the fight against ISIS, a move that was approved by the House and Senate. 

Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton said that vote was "insignificant."

"I would have voted in favor of it, but gritting my teeth as I did so," Bolton told Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren. "I think the president wanted a vote on something so that he could say he'd done something concrete against ISIS. He probably half felt if the Republicans rejected it and we ended up shutting down the government on the continuing resolution, he could use that politically."

On Sunday's telecast of "Face the Nation" on CBS, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a Democrat and close Obama ally, said the president should seek Congress' approval of the ongoing military campaign against ISIS.

"He does not have the Article Two constitutional authority to do this entire mission without Congress and neither of the authorizations passed by Congress in 2001 or 2002 cover it," Kaine said. "We should be debating and voting on this entire mission.

"It really concerns me that the president would assert he has the ability to do this unilaterally when as a candidate for president he made very plain that the president cannot unilaterally start a war without Congress. He was very clear about that."

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There is growing talk in Washington of wanting the post-November elections Congress to authorize more military force in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS).
congress, vote, authorization
Monday, 29 September 2014 06:38 PM
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