Democrat renews call for Congress to authorize war vs. Islamic State (Politico)
The top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee is trying again to get Congress to authorize the military to take on the Islamic State.
But Rep. Adam Schiff's proposal is likely to meet the same fate as his last, unsuccessful push earlier this year to officially sanction military force against the extremist group. Neither Democratic nor GOP leaders have signaled support for it.
Schiff's latest "authorization for use of military force," or AUMF, plan would "sunset" the military force authorization resolutions passed by Congress following the 9/11 terrorist attack and prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. President Barack Obama has been citing the authority under those resolutions, especially the 9/11 AUMF, to conduct a military campaign against ISIL in Syria.
Under the Schiff proposal, the president would be authorized to use "necessary and appropriate force" against Al Qaeda, ISIL, the Taliban, "and associated forces." Any group added to that list would have to be made public.
The 9/11 and Iraq invasion AUMFs would be repealed, and the new authority would expire after three years.
Unlike Schiff's AUMF proposal from February, which barred the use of ground forces, this one would allow Obama or his successor to send ground forces in a combat role. However, any lawmaker could offer a privileged motion to force a "timely debate" to repeal or revise the authorization resolution.
"I believe that the AUMF I'm proposing and circulating amongst my colleagues can serve as a template to bridge the divide by consolidating and unifying our use of force against ISIS, Al Qaeda and the Taliban, repealing all prior authorizations, and provided an expedited mechanism to accept or reject any introduction of ground troops in a combat mission," the California lawmaker said in statement. "If this is a war worth fighting – and I believe it is – Congress must have the courage to authorize it."
Schiff's move came days after Obama called on Congress during an Oval Office address to pass a military force measure.
"For over a year, I have ordered our military to take thousands of airstrikes against ISIL targets. I think it’s time for Congress to vote to demonstrate that the American people are united, and committed, to this fight," Obama said.
There is a strong desire among some Democrats and GOP conservatives to vote on a new authorization. House Democratic Caucus Vice Chairman Joe Crowley has repeatedly stressed that he’s uncomfortable with the level of military action in Syria absent Congress' explicit imprimatur. And a number of House Freedom Caucus members said earlier this month they immediately want to see a proposal for a new authorization put to a vote.
Despite Obama's comments on Sunday, the Wte House has spent minimal political capital to secure a new military authorization measure.hi
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