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Rubio: ISIS war measure should be unconditional

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) says any authorization for military action against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria should be free of any restrictions.

The prospective presidential candidate harshly criticized President Obama for making a request that would limit authority to three years, and ban “enduring offensive ground operations.”

{mosads}“There is a pretty simple authorization he could ask for and it would read one sentence: ‘We authorize the president to defeat and destroy ISIL.’ Period. And that’s what I think we should do,” Rubio said on the Senate floor Wednesday. 

“An authorization to use force that has limitations built into it are really quite unprecedented.”

Obama argued his measure, presented to Congress on Wednesday, strikes a balance that gives the administration some flexibility. Some Democrats, meanwhile, have said its language is too open-ended.

Rubio said that the Congressional Research Service told his office that only two military force authorizations in American history provided limitations: 1983 in Lebanon and 1993 in Somalia, although both of those were joint missions with the United Nations.

“It appears that never before and certainly in modern history has the Congress of the United States authorized the president to take on and defeat an enemy but has done so with limitations on the time or the geography or anything of this nature,” he said.

The Florida freshman, who is weighing a bid for president in 2016, noted that the three-year authorization would apply to whoever succeeds Obama as president.

“What we need to be authorizing the president to do is to destroy them and to defeat them. And allow the commander in chief, both the one we have now and the one who will follow, to put in place the tactics, the military tactics necessary to destroy and defeat ISIL.”


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