A senior Democratic senator said Monday that Congress should vote on whether U.S. troops should be fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), calling the previous Iraq War a "terrible mistake."
"We are going to have to have a vote on this. We know what a terrible mistake the first Iraq War was," Sen. Patrick LeahyPatrick Joseph LeahySenators denounce protest staged outside home of Justice Kavanaugh Al Franken on another Senate run: 'I'm keeping my options open' Labor Day: No justice for whistleblowers MORE (D-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said on NBC.
"It cost us close to $3 trillion, thousands of lives to go after weapons of mass destruction, which never existed in the first place. And if we're going to go into this, how many other places are we going to? We should have a full debate on it," he added.
Leahy's remarks came after the White House authorized the additional deployment of 1,500 U.S. troops to Iraq. Administration officials say no troops will deploy until Congress approves funding for their mission.
Separately, the president has called for Congress to vote on using military force against ISIS. Both votes are expected to occur in the lame-duck session.
A vote on authorization of military force could pit lawmakers leery of mission creep against those who say the president's strategy against ISIS needs to be more robust.
Leahy also said a vote on using force would force critics of the administration's ISIS strategy to take responsibility.
"Unfortunately, there are many in the Congress who'd like to be able to say the president's doing things wrong, but they don't want to vote on what they would say would be right," he said.
Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphyTell our troops: 'Your sacrifice wasn't in vain' Sunday shows preview: Bombing in Kabul delivers blow to evacuation effort; US orders strikes on ISIS-K White House seeks to regain control on Afghanistan MORE (D-Conn.) said over the weekend that Monday marked 60 days after the president outlined his strategy against ISIS on Sept. 10, and that under the War Powers Act, he needed to come to Congress for a vote.
"I do not think president has the ability under current authority to authorize 1,500 troops without Congress acting," Murphy said in an interview with CNN's "State of the Union.
Congress reconvenes on Wednesday and is scheduled to recess on Dec. 12, giving lawmakers approximately 15 workdays to act.
So far, the cost of the fight against ISIS has cost $8.3 million per day since Aug. 8. Two troops have been killed so far in Operation Inherent Resolve, the name for anti-ISIS military operations, though both deaths have been classified as nonhostile.
According to Defense Department statistics, 3,530 U.S. forces were killed in combat in the 2003 Iraq War.