Congress is handcuffed in addressing the threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) until President Obama details a strategy against the militant group, Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying world A new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE (R-Ohio) said Tuesday.
Boehner said the United States could either eliminate the threat or continue to put U.S. lives at risk.
"It’s his responsibility as the chief executive to outline a plan that will protect American interest, protect American lives both at home and abroad," Boehner said on Hugh Hewitt's radio show. "And until the president is willing to lay out a plan, the Congress has very few options ahead of it."
Boehner said he believes Obama has authority to target ISIS in Iraq, but it is "questionable" whether that authority extends to airstrikes against the group in Syria.
Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) said he would introduce legislation to give Obama the option to launch strikes targeting ISIS in Syria. The Speaker did not answer directly when asked if the House would easily grant Obama authorization.
"But if he’s going after ISIS, he would have, I think he would have to provide a War Powers notification to the Congress," he said. "And then it would be up to the House to make a decision about whether we dealt with the issue or not."
The threat extends further than Iraq and Syria, Boehner warned. He noted it touches from "Libya to Gaza to Lebanon to Syria and Iraq."
Obama vowed to “degrade and destroy” ISIS Wednesday morning, after the administration authenticated a video Tuesday showing the second beheading of a U.S. journalist by the group.
The White House has said Obama will discuss additional actions against ISIS, when he meets with NATO allies this week.