McConnell: Obama should seek approval for military action

McConnell: Obama should seek approval for military action
© Greg Nash

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellOvernight Defense & National Security — US, Iran return to negotiating table Senate GOP blocks defense bill, throwing it into limbo On The Money — Biden stresses calm amid omicron fears MORE (Ky.) said Tuesday that President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaWe must eliminate nuclear weapons, but a 'No First Use' Policy is not the answer Building back a better vice presidency Jill Biden unveils traditional White House holiday décor MORE should seek approval from Congress for any plan he has for combating the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

“The view of myself and most of my members is the president should be seeking congressional approval, period, for whatever he decides to do because that’s the way you hear from those of us who represent everyone in the country. That’s the way you get congressional support,” he said.

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“He really ought to be asking for our support whether or not he may think he’s authorized to do what he intends to do. I think it would be in his best interests and the country’s best interests,” he added.

McConnell said he would tell Obama that during a private meeting Wednesday afternoon, which other congressional leaders will attend.

A Republican leadership aide said McConnell is not necessarily calling for a vote on a new use-of-force resolution. Whether such a vote is necessary will depend on what Obama’s plan is, the aide said.

The Senate Republican conference is split.

Lawmakers who favor a more muscular foreign policy approach such as Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) say Obama does not need to win congressional approval to wage airstrikes against ISIS.

Other Republicans, such as Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), say Obama is constitutionally bound to get a green light from Congress.