Pentagon says it will submit ISIS plan to Congress

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The Pentagon says it is working to meet the Monday deadline for sending Congress a plan to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

Earlier this week, Speaker Paul Ryan’s (R-Wis.) office sent out a reminder that the plan was due on Monday, pursuant to a provision in the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act. 

{mosads}”To comply with the 2016 National Defense Authorization Act, a bill signed into law by President Barack Obama on November 15, 2015, you are required to submit to Congress a real, comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS by Monday, February 15, 2016,” the notice said. 

The submission could be a step toward Congress approving an authorization for the use of military force, which has been an uphill battle more than a year after the war began. 

“We are aware of the report and are actively working with multiple interagency offices to complete this legal requirement per the NDAA and look forward to submitting the completed report to Congress in the near-term,” said Army Lt. Col. Joe Sowers, a Department of Defense spokesman. 

Members on both sides of the aisle have submitted new proposals to authorize military force against ISIS, but some Republicans have refused to consider action until the administration submits its plan to defeat the terrorist group. 

Ryan earlier this year asked committee chairmen to begin listening sessions to sound out other members on a possible authorization for use of military force (AUMF) against ISIS.

The White House on Thursday highlighted the one-year mark since it submitted an AUMF proposal to Congress, which was rejected by Republicans as too restrictive and Democrats as not restrictive enough. 

“One year ago today, the President sent a detailed ISIL-specific AUMF proposal to Congress,” White House spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters. “Yet 365 days later, Congress has utterly failed to fulfill its responsibility.” 

“Meanwhile, the president’s strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy [ISIS] has continued to make notable progress,” he said, noting that there is now estimated to be 19,000 to 25,000 fighters in Iraq and Syria. 

“So in all this, we just want to make one point abundantly clear — that our men and women in uniform and our coalition partners on the front lines of our war against [ISIS] are all doing their jobs while Congress has remained, unfortunately, on the sidelines,” he said. 

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