Tags: War on Terrorism | Adam Kinzinger | Obama | war powers | request | defeat | ISIS

Rep. Adam Kinzinger: Obama's ISIS Request Forces New Congress Role

By    |   Sunday, 15 February 2015 12:00 PM

The president's request for Congress to formally authorize war against the Islamic State's militants makes Congress part of his limited strategy while forcing it into the role of commander-in-chief, Rep. Adam Kinzinger warned Sunday.

"The job of Congress is to declare war," the Illinois Republican told ABC's "This Week" program. "It's not to be commander in chief."

But at the end of the day, Kinzinger said, the question has to be asked about whether the "existence of ISIS is the worst thing, or is the existence of American ground combat operations the worst thing."

Obama's resolution, said Kinzinger, says "we need to destroy ISIS to a point, unless it takes enduring and offensive operations. In that case, we don't have the authority to do it."

Kinzinger, a former Air Force pilot who flew in Iraq and Afghanistan, noted he has long called for more air strikes when it comes to fighting ISIS, and "probably to embed special operations on the ground.

However, California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff, also appearing in the segment, called Congress a "historical anachronism" and said lawmakers "should never have taken six months to take this up."

That said, he finds it important to reach an authorization while not writing "another blank check" in the form of the one that came in 2001, when congress gave then-President George W. Bush war powers when it came to fighting al Qaida following the 9-11 attacks.

"That authorization continues in force under the president's proposal," said Schiff. "That's worrying Democrats. When the new one expires, the new president can rely on that to say that gives me the authority to go after whoever I want, wherever I want...we don't know who the next president will be or what their ideas will be."

The president's request prohibits "enduring offensive combat operations," but that would be a ban on a large-scale army of occupation for an extended period of time, akin to the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Special Operations forces would be likely be exempt from that provision, critics say.

Meanwhile, Republicans are concerned that the Obama plan will not give commanders the flexibility they need, and that the plan omits air support for rebels who are battling Syrian President President Bashar Assad.

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The president's request for Congress to formally authorize war against the Islamic State's militants makes Congress part of his limited strategy while forcing it into the role of commander-in-chief, Rep. Adam Kinzinger warned Sunday. The job of Congress is to declare war, ...
Adam Kinzinger, Obama, war powers, request, defeat, ISIS, limited
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Sunday, 15 February 2015 12:00 PM
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