GOP senator uncomfortable with ground troops in Syria

GOP senator uncomfortable with ground troops in Syria
© Greg Nash

Sen. Joni ErnstJoni Kay ErnstTrump tells GOP senators he’s sticking to Syria and Afghanistan pullout  McConnell: Senate will not recess if government still shutdown Barr calls for 'barrier system' on border MORE (Iowa), a Republican on the Armed Services Committee, on Sunday said she would be uncomfortable with President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump knocks BuzzFeed over Cohen report, points to Russia dossier DNC says it was targeted by Russian hackers after fall midterms BuzzFeed stands by Cohen report: Mueller should 'make clear what he's disputing' 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 McConnellTSA agents protest government shutdown at Pittsburgh airport The case for Russia sanctions Pompeo planning to meet with Pat Roberts amid 2020 Senate speculation 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.