Republican senator questions Obama ‘blank check’ for ISIS fight

Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) is questioning how the Obama administration would use $5.6 billion the White House is asking Congress to approve for the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

On Fox News’s “On the Record,” Scott described the request as a “blank check with no strategy.” 

{mosads}“I’m not sure what $5.6 billion actually gets you in a two-prong attack against something far more aggressive than al Qaeda,” he said. 

The Republican said President Obama must present a long-term strategy to Congress that contains “details and specificity” that lays out how the money will be spent effectively. 

Scott didn’t clearly say whether he would vote for the funding request.

“I certainly think we want to make sure the troops have the resources necessary. I have two brothers active duty in the military today. They are willing to risk their lives,” he said. “I will make sure that they have the resources. But Congress and the American people deserve to understand the strategy that will be used to use those resources effectively.”

The White House announced on Friday that it would ask Congress to approve the extra money for the overseas contingency operations (OCO) fund for the campaign against ISIS. The request is an amendment to the nearly $59 billion that has also been requested for fiscal 2015. 

The Pentagon has said the additional 1,500 troops to be funded by the request will not be deployed until Congress signs off.

The deployment would bring the total number of U.S. troops in Iraq to more than 3,000.

Congress received the request on Monday, and lawmakers are expected to debate the amendment in the lame-duck session, which begins Wednesday.

The Obama administration wants the new funding to be approved in an omnibus spending bill lawmakers are working on that would fund the government through next September. The House Appropriations Committee will likely unveil the measure next month. 

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