The ball is in President Obama's court to formally request authority from Congress to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) said Wednesday.
"Does the president want to revisit the existing authorizations for use of military force that goes back to 2002?" Scalise asked Wednesday on MSNBC, noting that was the last time Congress debated military force.
"Does the president have his own fingerprints he wants to put on it? What is his vision of what the authorization for use of military force should be?" Scalise asked.
House Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Stopping the next insurrection Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid MORE (R-Ohio) said recently in an interview with ABC News that "Congress ought to consider" a resolution specifically authorizing U.S. action against ISIS.
BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDemocrats eager to fill power vacuum after Pelosi exit Stopping the next insurrection Biden, lawmakers mourn Harry Reid MORE said he would even call back Congress from recess to debate such an issue.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest balked at the suggestion, criticizing Boehner's "track record of responding to presidential initiative."
Scalise noted the House successfully passed Obama's plan to vet and train moderate Syrian rebels to combat ISIS.
"He can call us back, and we'll be there tomorrow," Scalise said, noting Congress would provide "anything else" Obama needs to fight ISIS.
Asked if Obama should send U.S. ground troops to combat ISIS, Scalise said, "I think that should be an option the president keeps as an option on the table. Don't necessarily put it on the table but don't take it off the table."
Scalise said it was "ultimately the president's responsibility" to request permission from Congress.