Tags: Kerry | Congress | vote | ISIS

Kerry Seeks Congress' Vote Backing Fight Against Islamic State

Image: Kerry Seeks Congress' Vote Backing Fight Against Islamic State
(Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Landov)

Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 04:50 PM

Secretary of State John Kerry urged Congress to give broad support to authorize military force against Islamic State extremists, even as he sought more flexibility than a top Democratic senator proposed.

Testifying today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry said a measure giving authority to President Barack Obama should be “specific and limited” to Islamic State and associated militants.

“We ask you now to work closely with us on a bipartisan basis to develop language that provides a clear signal of support for our ongoing military operations against Daesh,” he said, using an Arabic acronym for the Sunni militants.

While Republicans usually lead criticism of Obama’s foreign policy, Kerry found himself in a dispute over terms of a measure with Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the committee’s chairman.

Menendez said he has drafted an authorization for the use of military force that would bar “large-scale U.S. ground combat operations” and impose a three-year limit. The restrictions reflect the position of many Democrats who have said they regret the open-ended authorization that Congress gave President George W. Bush before the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

Kerry said the administration wants the option for the next president to extend the authorization beyond three years if that’s necessary. He said the measure shouldn’t be limited to Iraq and Syria because “it would be a mistake to advertise” to Islamic State that it has “safe havens” elsewhere.

Restricting President

Kerry also resisted limiting combat operations, saying Congress shouldn’t “pre-emptively bind the hands” of the president in case of unforeseen circumstances even though Obama has pledged not to send U.S. forces into ground combat.

Unlike Menendez, Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee, who’s in line to become the committee’s chairman when Republicans take control of the Senate in January, said he was supportive of the provisions outlined by Kerry.

Like other Republicans, though, Corker said the Obama administration has yet to lay out a clear strategy to defeat Islamic State and faulted it for failing to bring its own draft authorization measure to Congress.

“From my standpoint, I would like to have something much more full, much more understood, a strategy that is laid out in a way that I understand where we are going prior to authorizing a complete authorization,” Corker said.

Committee Vote

The committee may vote on a measure as soon as Dec. 11, when it has scheduled a meeting to do so. With Congress scheduled to adjourn this week, however, legislation is unlikely to be adopted until next year.

When Kerry warned against restricting the president, Menendez said he objected to an open-ended resolution.

“No one is in favor of an open-ended resolution,” Kerry responded.

Menendez said his draft would limit the authorization of force “by not allowing ground combat operations except as necessary for the protection or rescue of U.S. soldiers or citizens, for intelligence operations, spotters to enable airstrikes, operational planning, or other forms of advice and assistance.”

Kerry said the administration already has the authority to fight Islamic State under the 2001 authorization for the use of military force against al-Qaeda, noting that the militant group previously operated as al-Qaeda in Iraq.

“We agree with you that it’s better to have a new” authorization that reflects the situation as it exists today, Kerry said.

© Copyright 2017 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
Newsfront
Secretary of State John Kerry urged Congress to give broad support to authorize military force against Islamic State extremists, even as he sought more flexibility than a top Democratic senator proposed.Testifying today before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry...
Kerry, Congress, vote, ISIS
548
2014-50-09
Tuesday, 09 Dec 2014 04:50 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