Graham pushes Obama to back broad ISIS war bill
© Greg Nash

Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamOn The Money: Biden announces bipartisan deal on infrastructure, but Democratic leaders hold out for more Trump's biggest political obstacle is Trump The Hill's Equilibrium — Presented by NextEra Energy — Tasmanian devil wipes out penguin population MORE wants President Obama to back wide-reaching legislation authorizing the war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). 

The South Carolina Republican, who is running for president, sent a letter to Obama Tuesday saying that he should work with Congress to "immediately" pass Graham's legislation, which he introduced last week. 

"Unlike some other proposals, my Joint Resolution does not place artificial constraints on you, and your successors, as the commander-in-chief," he wrote.


"Placing artificial limitations on the authorization would be seen as a sign of weakness by ISIL and a lack of resolve by our allies," he added using an alternate name for the group.

Graham's proposal has no limits on using ground troops against the terrorist organization — a provision that will likely gain quick pushback from Democrats — as well as no expiration date. 

He also underscored that his legislation would be as broad as the 2001 authorization for the use of military force (AUMF), which has received skepticism from Democrats. Sen. Rand PaulRandal (Rand) Howard PaulPoll: 58 percent say Fauci should not resign Fauci says he puts 'very little weight in the craziness of condemning me' Senate confirms Biden pick for No. 2 role at Interior MORE (R-Ky.) previously introduced a measure that would sunset the 2001 law. 

Graham, however, said that lawmakers must send a message to ISIS that "we will hunt you down and kill you no matter how long it takes. You are not safe anywhere."

While Obama called for lawmakers to pass an AUMF against ISIS during a speech Sunday, proposals from Graham and other lawmakers face an uphill battle with momentum stalled in Congress. 

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineDemocrats hit wall on voting rights push Communion vote puts spotlight on Hispanic Catholics Biden at Sen. John Warner's funeral: He 'gave me confidence' MORE (D-Va.), a key advocate of an AUMF, suggested that while he was glad to hear the administration call for legislation, it likely wouldn't get the issue across the finish line. 

"I think we're going to get there, but I think we're sadly going to get there because the mutating nature of the threats is going to shame Congress into action," he told reporters on Tuesday.

Both Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRevs. Jesse Jackson, William Barber arrested in protest urging Manchin to nix filibuster On The Money: Biden announces bipartisan deal on infrastructure, but Democratic leaders hold out for more McConnell slams Biden for already 'caving' to left on infrastructure deal MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidBiden fails to break GOP 'fever' Nevada governor signs law making state first presidential primary Infighting grips Nevada Democrats ahead of midterms MORE (D-Nev.) have appeared cool to the idea of taking up a war authorization bill. Meanwhile, Sens. Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney set to be face of anti-Trump GOP How leaving Afghanistan cancels our post-9/11 use of force The unflappable Liz Cheney: Why Trump Republicans have struggled to crush her  MORE (R-Tenn.) and Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinSchumer vows to only pass infrastructure package that is 'a strong, bold climate bill' The Hill's Morning Report - Biden on Putin: 'a worthy adversary' Antsy Democrats warn of infrastructure time crunch MORE (D-Md.), the top members of the Foreign Relations Committee, have repeatedly acknowledged that an AUMF faces deep political and policy divisions. 

Graham said last week that he hadn't spoken to Corker about his war legislation. 

"I respect Bob Corker. It should go through his committee. I hope he'll take it up. I've got nothing against the normal process," he added. "I just want this debate."