Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 3, 2014

Posts in "Iraq"

September 2, 2014

Senate Democrat Proposes Authorization to Strike ISIS in Syria

shutdown presser004 100813 445x296 Senate Democrat Proposes Authorization to Strike ISIS in Syria

Nelson (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., plans to introduce legislation next week that would give President Barack Obama definitive authority to launch airstrikes against the Islamic State terror group in Syria — as senators on both sides of the aisle ramp up calls for military action.

“This will ensure there’s no question that the president has the legal authority he needs to use airstrikes in Syria,” Nelson said in a release.

While Obama has ordered airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq, some policy experts have questioned whether the administration has the clear legal authority — independent of Congress — to broaden the air campaign to strike targets in Syria. Nelson’s legislation is designed to allay those doubts. Full story

August 26, 2014

McConnell Wants Details From Obama on Plans for ISIS

mcconnell 044 030514 445x335 McConnell Wants Details From Obama on Plans for ISIS

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell wants President Barack Obama to present Congress with a plan to fight the Islamic State, including any potential needs for a new authorization for use of military force.

“The President needs to develop a regional strategy, working with our allies, to defeat ISIL, and to use the full extent of his authorities to attack this enemy force. The President needs to present this plan to the Congress and the American people. And where the President believes he lacks authority to execute such a strategy, he needs to explain to the Congress how additional authority for the use of force will protect America,” the Kentucky Republican said in a statement provided to CQ Roll Call. “The threat from ISIL can no longer be ignored, and it is time for President Obama to exercise some leadership in launching a response.”

Full story

August 13, 2014

Rand Paul Wants Obama to Seek Approval for Extended Iraq Effort (Video)

paul 118 061714 445x292 Rand Paul Wants Obama to Seek Approval for Extended Iraq Effort (Video)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Sen. Rand Paul has joined the calls for President Barack Obama to seek congressional approval for an extended military campaign to fight Islamic State forces in Iraq.

Full story

August 12, 2014

Tim Kaine: Obama Needs Congress to OK Iraq Air Strikes

luncheons010 031114 225x335 Tim Kaine: Obama Needs Congress to OK Iraq Air Strikes

Kaine says the president needs congressional authorization for air strikes. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine wants President Barack Obama to seek new approval from Congress for the current bombing campaign in Iraq.

“I support providing humanitarian relief to Iraqi civilians and measures to protect American personnel, but I am concerned about the timeline and scope of our renewed military efforts in Iraq,” the Virginia Democrat said in a statement. “Since the Administration has conceded that the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force is obsolete and should be repealed, it is now up to the Administration to receive Congressional authorization for the current air campaign against IS. This is especially the case since the President has indicated that our renewed military engagement in Iraq could be a long-term project.”

Full story

By Niels Lesniewski Posted at 5:44 p.m.
Democrats, Iraq

August 8, 2014

Feinstein Warns of Risk of ISIL Attack on America, Says Must Be Confronted

feinstein006 011514 445x295 Feinstein Warns of Risk of ISIL Attack on America, Says Must Be Confronted

(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein warned Friday of the risk that the insurgent group ISIL could be preparing fighters to attack American and European targets.

“It has become clear that ISIL is recruiting fighters in Western countries, training them to fight its battles in the Middle East and possibly returning them to European and American cities to attack us in our backyard,” the California Democrat said in a statement backing military action authorized by President Barack Obama. “We simply cannot allow this to happen.”

Full story

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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