The Obama administration plans to send officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and the National Counterterrorism Center (NCC) to Capitol Hill on Friday to brief congressional staff, Reuters reported
While the briefing will inform Congress on the latest developments in the fight against the Islamic State (ISIS), Republicans have planned a legislative agenda aimed at forcing the administration to take a more aggressive approach to combating the Islamic terrorist group.
On Thursday, Republican leaders informed members of their conference of plans to hold a series of hearings and meetings with outside analysts related to the growing threat posed by ISIS and other Islamic terrorists, according to an internal leadership memo circulated on Thursday
“These hearings and briefings will be absolutely critical in helping us take the appropriate steps necessary to achieve our objective: the defeat of our terrorist enemies,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy wrote to his GOP colleagues.
Before outlining which the full legislative agenda, McCarthy addressed the administration's efforts to combat terrorism, particularly the Islamic State of the Levant (ISIL), which he characterized as "too passive."
McCarthy said when Congress reconvenes, "our national security committees will continue their aggressive oversight work – including hearings with senior Administration officials – on both the rise of ISIL and what is necessary to confront and defeat them. I anticipate that Administration officials will be up to brief all Members."
He added there also are briefings by outside experts being planned.
"We understand the terrorists' war on the United States and our allies is not over and that military action against terrorist groups like ISIL that pose a direct and growing threat to American interests is overdue. That said, the American people need to hear plainly from the President about the nature of the threat and his strategy to confront it," wrote McCarthy.
Republicans are considering all options, including introducing legislation, to force the administration's hand.
"The overwhelming consensus was that not only do we need a plan, but we will have a plan, and we will have an unfettered and determined approach to make sure we stop this process that is growing like a cancer in the Middle East," said Rep. Mark Meadows, a junior member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said during a Sept. 3 conference call, reported GovExec.com
President Barack Obama announced on Aug. 7 that he had directed the military to launch limited airstrikes against ISIS
convoys in Iraq.
If the administration plans to extend the airstrikes beyond 60 days, an authorizing resolution might be necessary under the War Powers Act.
Among the hearings planned:
- (September 9) House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Hamas' benefactors;
- (September 10) Homeland Security Committee hearing examining the threat posed by ISIS Terrorists with Western Passports;
- (September 17) Homeland Security Department Secretary Jeh Johnson will testify before the Homeland Security Committee about "worldwide threats to the homeland."
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