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GOP senator uncomfortable with ground troops in Syria

GOP senator uncomfortable with ground troops in Syria
© Greg Nash

Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstRepublicans demand arms embargo on Iran after militia strikes in Iraq Republicans blast Pentagon policy nominee over tweets, Iran nuclear deal Democrats cut deals to bolster support for relief bill MORE (Iowa), a Republican on the Armed Services Committee, on Sunday said she would be uncomfortable with President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE putting boots on the ground in Syria and urged Trump to explain his plan for the war-torn country to Congress.

Ernst, who a year ago called on Trump to notify Congress ahead of military strikes on Syria, said she supported Trump’s decision to join France and Britain in launching more than a 100 missiles against Syria’s chemical weapons network.

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But she warned the president against going much further.

“I am uncomfortable going forward if he wishes to commit ground troops in the area,” Ernst said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“Currently, we do have an effort to fight against ISIS in the region and that is the main focus. This is secondary to that,” she added, referring to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. “Certainly, if he wishes to go any further, he does need to work with Congress.”

Ernst said she wants to see the Senate debate a new authorization for use of military force (AUMF) in Syria, a proposal that divides Republicans.

“We need a new AUMF. We need to address this situation and the president does need to come to Congress and we need to have those discussions,” she said.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRon Johnson grinds Senate to halt, irritating many Klain on Harris breaking tie: 'Every time she votes, we win' How to pass legislation in the Senate without eliminating the filibuster MORE (R-Ky.) has argued in the past that Trump does not need new war authorization to conduct strikes against Syria.

Some Republicans worry an authorization could include restrictions that would limit the president’s ability as commander in chief.

Ernst called on Trump to provide a plan to Congress after he launched missiles against Syrian government forces a year ago.

“If he wishes to do anything further he does need to bring that specific plan with his reasoning to Congress before we move forward,” she said on MSNBC at the time.