Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 23, 2014

Posts in "Iraq"

June 25, 2014

Tim Kaine Says Obama ‘Must’ Come to Congress Before Striking ISIL in Iraq (Video)

A longtime ally of President Barack Obama says he must consult Congress before taking military action in Iraq, except to secure the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad.

Sen. Tim Kaine, D-Va., the former head of the Democratic National Committee, said Obama “must seek congressional approval” before launching military action against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) unless there is a direct and imminent threat to the United States, such as a threat to the U.S. Embassy. There is no such imminent threat now, Kaine said. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 11:47 a.m.
Iraq

June 20, 2014

Levin: No Iraq Airstrikes Without Backing of Sunnis, Kurds

Senate Armed Services Committee chairman Carl Levin, D-Mich., said the United States should only launch airstrikes in Iraq unless the various sectarian factions in the nation can unite to formally request it.

“Without at least that much of a showing of unity is made, I don’t believe that any assistance on our part would make a difference,” Levin said at a Friday news conference.

“The step that is critically essential before we even consider airstrikes is for there to be a formal public statement by the leaders of all of the groups in Iraq; Shia, Sunni, religious minorities, Kurds, tribal leadership in a public formal statement requesting assistance,” Levin said. “That would be a major step towards, and it would be an indication of a willingness to move towards national unity.”

Levin’s comments come after President Obama said he is considering possible military action in Iraq where sectarian extremists are threatening to overrun the government.

Militants — known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIL — have pushed from the border with Syria and overtaken major cities in Iraq’s northern Sunni region sparking a new refugee crisis with hundreds of thousands of civilians fleeing.

Levin also conditioned airstrikes on military leaders deciding that we have effective options that can change the momentum on the ground in Iraq and on clear public support from friends and allies in the region — particularly moderate Arab leaders of neighboring countries.

Levin warned that the militants pose a threat to the United States and its allies.

“The ISIL is a vicious enemy,” Levin said. “It is also the common enemy of all Iraqis, and of Iraq’s neighbors. If this vicious, common enemy cannot unite Iraqis in common cause, then our assistance, including air strikes, will make no difference.”

By Humberto Sanchez Posted at 12:20 p.m.
Iraq

June 19, 2014

Rand Paul: Obama Should Seek New Authorization for Iraq Strikes

paul 023 030513 445x298 Rand Paul: Obama Should Seek New Authorization for Iraq Strikes

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., said President Barack Obama should seek new authorization from Congress before taking military action in Iraq, saying it would be “absurd” to rely on the 2001 authorization to use military force.

“This is a debate we’ve had and the Obama administration as well as many Republicans think that you can stay at war forever based on [the] 2001 use of authorization of force,” Paul told reporters Thursday. “I don’t agree with that. I don’t think one generation can commit another generation to war forever. Full story

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