McConnell: Obama should seek approval for military action

McConnell: Obama should seek approval for military action
© Greg Nash

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGun proposal picks up GOP support Children’s health-care bill faces new obstacles Dems see Trump as potential ally on gun reform MORE (Ky.) said Tuesday that President Obama should seek approval from Congress for any plan he has for combating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

“The view of myself and most of my members is the president should be seeking congressional approval, period, for whatever he decides to do because that’s the way you hear from those of us who represent everyone in the country. That’s the way you get congressional support,” he said.

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“He really ought to be asking for our support whether or not he may think he’s authorized to do what he intends to do. I think it would be in his best interests and the country’s best interests,” he added.

McConnell said he would tell Obama that during a private meeting Wednesday afternoon, which other congressional leaders will attend.

A Republican leadership aide said McConnell is not necessarily calling for a vote on a new use-of-force resolution. Whether such a vote is necessary will depend on what Obama’s plan is, the aide said.

The Senate Republican conference is split.

Lawmakers who favor a more muscular foreign policy approach such as Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) say Obama does not need to win congressional approval to wage airstrikes against ISIS.

Other Republicans, such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), say Obama is constitutionally bound to get a green light from Congress.