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House Dem: ‘We’ll have many more 9-11s’ if no action on ISIS

Rep. Eliot Engel of New York, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, warned Tuesday that the U.S. could risk another terrorist attack if Congress does not act against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

The House is in the midst of six hours of debate on an amendment to a stopgap funding bill to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight ISIS. During floor debate, Engel suggested that another attack similar to 9/11 could happen if Congress does not move forward with the administration’s proposal.

{mosads}”I understand that my colleagues are war weary. I’m war weary. I understand the American people are war weary,” Engel said. “But I think doing nothing would invite something very similar that happened to my city, New York City, on that fateful day of Sept. 11, 2001.”

Engel warned that the threat of a terrorist attack extended beyond the U.S.

“If we do nothing, ISIS will plot and plan and we’ll have many more 9/11s in the United States, in Europe, in the Middle East,” Engel said.

Earlier during floor debate, Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) said that Wednesday’s expected vote would be one of the most significant in years.

“I think today and tomorrow may be recorded in history as one of the most serious decisions that this Congress has had to make,” Rangel said.

Many lawmakers of both parties advocated for a broader vote to authorize the use of military force (AUMF) against ISIS beyond simply arming Syrian rebels. 

“I firmly believe a new authorization for the use of military force is needed to specifically address ISIL and new action in Syria,” said Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.). “I hope the president will recognize the Article I, Section 8 powers of this Congress which are exclusive and ask us for a new AUMF.”

But Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who introduced legislation Tuesday to authorize the use of military force against ISIS for 18 months, said Congress shouldn’t wait for President Obama to ask for a vote.

“In matters of war, Congress is not some suitor that needs to be asked by the president to dance,” Schiff said.

Tags Adam Schiff Bradley Byrne Charlie Rangel Eliot Engel Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
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