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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Washington (AFP) – Congress should not vote on using U.S. military force against Islamic State militants until the new legislative session gets underway early next year, the top House Republican said Thursday.

The United States and coalition partners are already carrying out air strikes against IS targets in Iraq and Syria, with more than 200 raids since President Barack Obama gave the order on August 8.

But the U.S. leader ordered the campaign under an authority granted to his office by Congress in 2001 for military action to combat the Al-Qaeda group following the September 11 attacks.

Numerous lawmakers, both Republicans and Democrats, argue that the 13-year old mandate cannot be used to cover current operations and that Obama must seek new congressional authorization.

Speaking to the New York Times, House Speaker John Boehner said he is in favor of holding a vote on the current military operation, but only after the new Congress has been seated early next year.

“I have made it clear that I think the House and the Congress itself should speak,” Boehner said.

But he argued it would be ill-advised to vote during the “lame-duck” session — the two-month interregnum when the current Congress wraps up business and new lawmakers prepare to take office.

“Doing this with a whole group of members who are on their way out the door, I don’t think that is the right way to handle this,” Boehner told the Times, urging Obama to seek authorization in January.

“I would suggest to you that early next year, assuming that we continue in this effort, there may be that discussion and there may be that request from the president,” Boehner said.

Most U.S. lawmakers have already departed Washington and hit the campaign trail ahead of the midterm vote, and are not due to return to Congress until November 12.

Depending on the outcome of the elections for open seats in the Senate, he composition of the new Congress could be quite different from that of the current one.

The Senate, currently controlled by Democrats, stands a good chance of tipping to Republicans, making it harder for Obama to get his proposals passed — or even introduced — in the U.S. legislature.

Before they went out on break, lawmakers last week approved a temporary measure providing funding for the military strikes in the form of an amendment to a stop-gap government funding bill.

AFP Photo/Mark Wilson

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  • Lynda Groom

    Such courage coming from the worst Speaker of House in generations. Why not call Congress into session and deal with world events as they occur instead of kicking the can down the road a couple of months past the elections? Are they afraid of going on the record with a vote to defend?

    • 1standlastword

      The unitary executive privilege that Chaney innovated and employed during the Bush Administration that they used towards abusive ends is enough for Obama to exercise towards the good ends that are occurring now with his coalition of 5 Arab Nations against these criminals, IS who bastardize Islam by their very existence

  • 1standlastword

    I for one am impressed that Obama has been able to draw a coalition that has the “active” support of 5 Arab countries. And more so that for once America is unified in arms with the Arabs against this HORRIBLE scourge IS. As for congress my expectations are completely below ground level…so WTF ever Bonehead!

  • FT66

    What a useless Speaker! Does he understand the word “emergency”? or there isn’t such a word in a current Congress. Folks, wherever you are, please take a note. Boehner and his Congress are not what people want. November is coming soon. Please weed up those who are there to benefit themselves including Boehner. They have to go. Enough is enough already.

  • Barrington September

    Ha ha ha … you got to love
    them! What if
    Russia sank one of our war ships and 3,000 navy personnel died and a fleet of
    Russian war ships were heading our way … should we wait until the newly
    elected Congressmen take their seats in January 2015 and get organized, and
    then, perhaps, hold hearings for five days and then take five days to draft an
    appropriate resolution after, the 1,500 page transcripts of the hearings have
    been prepared, published and delivered to each Congress member … who would
    need three days for their staff to read and explain to them (some may need 30
    days to comprehend) …

    Of course there would be breaks for campaigning, elections, celebrating
    and mourning the results … and many holidays between now and January 2, 2015.
    … certainly by the first week of March 2015, the Speaker and his House
    of Reps may be ready to discuss & debate for at least three days and then vote … and then pass on to the US Senate.

    The US Senate would need at least a week to read everything from the House of Reps with their aids assisting them and explaining things. Then they would need to prepare appropriate amendments (and correct all of the spelling, grammatical, sentence structure and factual errors) and then call & convene a joint House & Senate committee to work out differences … they would need another ten days!

    Of course, they would need at least a ten day vacation after almost 90 days of work broken up only by holidays and occasional sick time off etc.

    April 1, 2015 … the fools (Opps! I meant US Congress) should be ready, after they emerge from their hidden bomb shelter bunkers on some undisclosed Caribbean island to reveal the Resolution for Action to defend America and deter and defeat the Russian antagonists …
    … only to discover that once again that “damn rascal” in the White House took matters in his own hands and sunk the entire Russian fleet without Congressional approval!!

    Do I hear IMPEACHMENT, anyone?

  • docb

    He knows his tea gop members are cowards…as is he! They want to hide at home and not have fingers on ANYTHING but their anti-American claptrap and helping Big Corps and themselves!!!

  • booker25

    No they should of voted on yesterday you ahole!