Defense

White House to Congress: Don’t ‘take a pass’ on war powers request

ISIS, AUMF, Islamic State
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White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough said in an interview broadcast Sunday that a war powers request to fight Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants was put together “to get a strong bipartisan showing,” adding that Congress shouldn’t “take a pass on the issue.”

{mosads}”They’re going to have hearings on it. They’ll make some decisions for themselves. We’ve given them a good place to start. We’ll see where they end,” McDonough said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.”

“What they shouldn’t do this time is what they did in 2013 when they took a pass on this issue,” he added. “It’s very important in questions of war and peace for Congress to be heard. The president has given them a roadmap to follow. They can take that or they can come up with something else. But they should not take a pass on this important issue.”

McDonough said President Obama takes the terror threat “very, very seriously.”

“We’ve now flown, more than, conducted more than 2,400 strikes against ISIL targets in Iraq and in Syria. Those strikes are having a very dramatic impact. We’ve seen ISIS’s progress blunted in Iraq. We’re making good progress in Syria,” McDonough said.

“But I don’t want to overstate it, because this is going to be something that will take some time,” he added.

“We’ve had some who suggest that maybe we ought to go back to the kind of full-scale invasion that we saw in Iraq. We think that’s a mistake. The president’s outlined a very precise use of our force, supporting Iraq, Iraqi soldiers on the ground so that they can carry this fight on themselves.”

McDonough also said the Obama administration will not let terror attacks stand, pointing to a summit later this week at the State Department to counter violent extremism.

“We know AQAP, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, has plans to do things like this around the world. So we have to make sure that we’re staying one step ahead of them,” he said.

Tags Denis McDonough ISIS Sunday shows

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