Week ahead: Obama officials sell ISIS strategy

Top administration officials are headed to Capitol Hill next week to sell President Obama’s strategy for fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

While lawmakers in both parties have expressed broad support for the president’s plan, there is some dissension in the House about how to handle his request for Title 10 authority to train and equip rebel forces in Syria.

ADVERTISEMENT

While that authority could be included in a stopgap spending bill to prevent a government shutdown, the Syria request could also be put to a stand-alone vote.

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerWary GOP eyes Meadows shift from brick-thrower to dealmaker Bottom line Cheney battle raises questions about House GOP's future MORE (R-Ohio) has said he expects lawmakers to vote on the funding bill next week but did not specify whether language on Syria would be included in it. Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidMcConnell goes hands-off on coronavirus relief bill Kamala Harris to young Black women at conference: 'I want you to be ambitious' Obama calls filibuster 'Jim Crow relic,' backs new Voting Rights Act bill MORE (D-Nev.), meanwhile, expressed confidence that the Syria aid would be approved by the end of next week.

Defense Secretary Chuck HagelCharles (Chuck) Timothy HagelHillicon Valley: Democrats request counterintelligence briefing | New pressure for election funding | Republicans urge retaliation against Chinese hackers National security leaders, advocacy groups urge Congress to send election funds to states The Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic Unity Taskforce unveils party platform recommendations MORE and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey will appear Tuesday morning before the Senate Armed Services Committee to discuss the administration’s plan to “degrade and destroy” ISIS, which includes the deployment of another 475 American troops to Iraq.

Hagel returns to Capitol Hill on Thursday to testify before the House Armed Services Committee.

Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryThe Memo: Biden faces balancing act Budowsky: Trump October surprise could devastate GOP Hillicon Valley: Democrats request counterintelligence briefing | New pressure for election funding | Republicans urge retaliation against Chinese hackers MORE will appear before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday afternoon to talk about the president's ISIS plan and will come back on Thursday to speak to the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

The full House Homeland Security Committee will convene Wednesday morning to examine “worldwide threats” to the U.S. and will hear from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson, FBI Director James Comey and National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen.

While the hearing will likely touch on many topics, expect an emphasis on intelligence estimates that up to a few thousand individuals with Western passports, including as many as 100 Americans, have joined ISIS.

Also on Wednesday, the House Select Committee on Benghazi will hold its first public hearing. House Republicans formed the bipartisan 12-member panel during the summer in a bid to uncover new evidence about the Sept. 11, 2012, attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Libya.

The conflict in Ukraine will be front and center Thursday as Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko speaks before a joint session of Congress and meets with Obama. Poroshenko hopes to extract concrete pledges of support, either military or financial, from the U.S., as a shaky cease-fire remains in place between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Off Capitol Hill, Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove, NATO's supreme commander in Europe, will give a speech at the Atlantic Council on Monday to outline the future of the transatlantic alliance.

On Wednesday afternoon Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioPPP application window closes after coronavirus talks deadlock  The Hill's Campaign Report: US officials say Russia, China are looking to sow discord in election US intelligence says Russia seeking to 'denigrate' Biden MORE (R-Fla.), a prospective 2016 presidential candidate, will give an address on what he says is the need to bolster U.S. defense capabilities.

 

Recent Stories:

Obama lays out plan to 'eradicate cancer' of Islamic State fighters

Confusion surrounds Obama’s request

Cheney points finger at Obama’s ‘indifference for rise of ISIS

Levin doubts defense vote this month

Senators blast DOD program that ‘militarized police’