Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 12, 2016

Should Congress Authorize Air Strikes in Syria?

Kaine, at an April Senate Foreign Relations hearing. (Tom Williams, CQ Roll Call)

Kaine, at an April Senate Foreign Relations hearing. (Tom Williams, CQ Roll Call)

A pair of senior senators on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee want President Barack Obama to come to Congress for authorization of any air strikes in Syria targeting the group popularly known as ISIS, which has made big gains in Iraq. Others? Not so interested in Congress getting involved.

CQ’ Roll Call’s Jonathan Broder has the story about the two senior senators, for CQ subscribers:

In separate remarks over the past two days, Democrat Tim Kaine of Virginia, chairman of the panel’s Middle East Subcommittee, and Bob Corker of Tennessee, the committee’s ranking Republican, said existing authorizations for the use of force that were passed after the 2001 terror attack and before the Iraq war were no longer suitable to address the threat posed by the Islamic State, also known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL.

Broder’s story delves deeper into their arguments about the possible air strikes against ISIS, another name for the group.

On the other side of the debate, BuzzFeed’s Rosie Gray and Kate Nocera tracked down some lawmakers who aren’t as eager to get Congress to weigh in, with Rep. Trent Franks, R-Ariz., noting that the “circumstances are different entirely” than the last time Obama was contemplating action in Syria and there was more enthusiasm for getting Obama to seek congressional approval. (That enthusiasm was not unanimous — some thought, even then, that Obama should have acted on his own.)

“There’s a reticence on our part to readily say that [Obama] should just do what comes instinctive to him because it’s nearly always wrong,” said Republican Rep. Trent Franks…. “However, when we see a demonstrated monstrous enemy like ISIS that is murdering and beheading its way across Iraq then of course we have a different perspective of trying to get this president to respond.”

For its part, the administration is playing it coy on whether it would seek congressional approval if it should go beyond the current drone surveillance flights over Syria — although it asserts the right to act on its own.

Comments (8)

  1. Rob_Chapman

    Aug. 27, 2014
    3:24 p.m.

    We have just seen Israel’s prestige badly bruised in this country and abroad by their air strikes in Gaza.

    Are there still people, even in Congress, naive enough to believe that American forces’ accuracy and intelligence will avoid the colateral damage that has so wounded the Israeli’s image as defenders of their nation?

    Faced with the massive threat of rocket attacks, tunnelling and spontaneous outbursts of violence like kidnappings and rock throwing, Israel had to secure its border with the Gaza strikes and was forced to endure the consequences which will be substantial.

    America has no similar imperative to engage in Syria. Having lost enormous prestige and severely damaged if not destroyed important instruments of national power with two bitter middle eastern wars it behooves America to stay out Syria.

    • Jack Everett

      Sept. 2, 2014
      9:32 p.m.

      Is this why Israel just stole more land they have no right to? Its time America stopped playing puppet to these terrorists.


  2. jakele143

    Aug. 28, 2014
    1:21 a.m.

    I heard Jim Cramer is behind the site Traders Superstore now, I don’t know whether that is genuine however I’m a part there and I’m figuring out how to exchange from them there course material is brilliant along these lines is their backing. I can prescribe them if anyone is intrigued by figuring out how to exchange like I am.

    • Jack Everett

      Sept. 2, 2014
      9:30 p.m.


  3. Peter LaMarck

    Aug. 28, 2014
    8:21 a.m.

    It’s my opinion that the decision to invade Iraq is the worst foreign policy decision in US history.

  4. Jack Everett

    Sept. 2, 2014
    9:29 p.m.

    Congress since WWII has always given up its war powers to the president. Its easy to criticize when you sit back like cowards and do nothing but whine.

  5. Tom Highway

    Sept. 3, 2014
    3:06 a.m.

    In this video we find vodka-enthusiast Joe Biden droning on about the Obama regime’s success in Iraq:

  6. Joseph Biten

    Sept. 3, 2014
    5:25 a.m.

    You know, plenty of wise men have warned us regarding the perils of foreign favoritism and foreign intervention. Perhaps we should heed their warnings?

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...