House lawmakers push for debate on using force against ISIS

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A bipartisan group of House lawmakers introduced a measure on Thursday to force a vote on authorizing military force against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

The resolution authored by Reps. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.), Walter Jones (R-N.C.) and Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) would require the president to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq and Syria within 30 days or by the end of 2015.

“Either Congress needs to live up to its responsibilities and authorize this war, or by its continuing neglect and indifference, our troops should be withdrawn and come home,” McGovern said on the House floor.

{mosads}President Obama sent Congress a draft authorization of military force (AUMF). But it has since stalled because it appears to lack votes from both parties. Many Democrats view the AUMF as too open-ended, while Republicans think it constrains the military campaign.

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said last month Obama should withdraw the AUMF and “start over.”

“The president’s request for Authorization of Use of Military Force calls for less authority than he has today. Given the fight that we’re in, it’s irresponsible,” Boehner said at a May 19 news conference.

McGovern blasted the House GOP leadership for not forcing the committees of jurisdiction to amend the AUMF to their liking before sending it to the floor for a vote.

“The leadership of this House whines and complains from the sidelines and all the while it shirks its constitutional duties to bring an AUMF to the floor of this House, debate it and vote on it,” the Massachusetts Democrat said.

“Our servicemen and servicewomen are brave and dedicated. Congress, however, is the poster child for cowardice.” 

Tags authorization of military force Islamic State of Iraq and Syria Jim McGovern
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