House lawmakers want to approve any military action in Iraq

A bipartisan group of 80 House lawmakers sent a letter to President Obama this week urging him to seek congressional approval before taking military action in Iraq.

The letter, spearheaded by Reps. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) and Scott Rigell (R-Va.), says “the use of military force is something the Congress should fully debate and authorize.”

“Members of Congress must consider all the facts and alternatives before we can determine whether military action” would help end the deteriorating security and political situation inside Iraq, according to the missive.

President Obama earlier this week announced he was sending another 200 troops to Iraq to help thwart an insurgency called the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). There are roughly 750 soldiers inside the country right now, according to Pentagon leaders.

On Thursday, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey said Iraqi government forces “probably” couldn’t take back huge swaths of territory captured by the militant group on their own, possibly paving the way for further U.S. involvement.

In their Tuesday letter, members laud Obama for his restraint to date and said they “do not believe intervention could either be quick or easy,” warning any action could prove “counter-productive.”

“Any solution to this complex crisis can only be achieved through political settlement, and only if the process and outcome is inclusive of all segments of the Iraqi population — anything short of that cannot successfully bring stability to Iraq or the region,” lawmakers warn.