Tags: Barack Obama | ISIS/Islamic State | isis | congress | war powers | john boehner

Congress Yet to Weigh In on Obama's ISIS War Powers Request

By    |   Thursday, 16 April 2015 07:28 AM

It is unlikely Congress will act anytime soon on President Barack Obama's February request for a resolution authorizing military action against the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) group, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Republican lawmakers are dissatisfied with the wording and tone of the president's "Authorization for the Use of United States Armed Forces" draft.

House Speaker John Boehner said "the president's asking for less authority than he has today. I've never seen any president — ever — do this. As much as I think Congress ought to speak on this issue, it's going to be virtually impossible to do that."

He added: "Until the president gets serious about fighting the fight, until he has a strategy that makes sense, there's no reason for us to give him less authority than what he has today, which is what he's asking for," The Washington Post reported.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said passing Obama's resolution would have little practical impact, the Journal reported.

Republicans, including Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, said that the resolution's wording was too restrictive. "I'm open-minded to giving [Obama] an AUMF that says, 'do what you need to defeat ISIL. Period,' " the Journal reported.

Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake said he worried Congress would marginalize itself unless it took action on the resolution.

The White House said the phraseology of the resolution was purposefully left fuzzy to give Obama utmost flexibility to face down evolving threats.

Democrats, while not keen to give the president a free hand on the use of ground troops, have implied that Republicans were being hypocritical — seeking to tie Obama's hands on a framework deal over Iran's nuclear program while not backing him on ISIS.

"The Republicans seem incredibly intent on providing oversight when the president's engaging in diplomacy, but they don't have the same standard for war," said Connecticut Sen. Chris Murphy.

California Rep. Adam Schiff, ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, said it was "deeply ironic that there's such a crush to legislate in the middle of the Iran nuclear talks, where we don't have a constitutional obligation to act, but there's no interest in moving on a war resolution even after eight months of being in the conflict," the Journal reported.

Corker said that once legislation authorizing Congress to provide oversight on the Iranian agreement has been passed, he would take a fresh look at the use-of-force authorization, the Journal reported.

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Congress is unlikely to act anytime soon on President Barack Obama's February request for a resolution authorizing military action against the Islamic State, because lawmakers are dissatisfied with its wording, The Wall Street Journal reported.
isis, congress, war powers, john boehner
Thursday, 16 April 2015 07:28 AM
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