Connor Pfeiffer, ’18
In January, a new Congress will take office with Republicans holding the majority in both the House and Senate. What this means for the President’s military mission against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, though, is unclear.
Many Republican Senators are calling for an authorization to allow the President to broaden his war against ISIS. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said in a press conference this week that he “would vote for a broad authorization allowing this president and our military to do what’s necessary to degrade and destroy” ISIS and would oppose any language that “ties the military in knots” by restricting the President’s military options.
Many in the Republican caucus, including Senator John McCain (R-AZ), share this view. However, Democratic senators such as Tim Kaine (D-VA) have signaled their support for a congressional authorization that very specifically limits the actions the President can take against ISIS.
In the House, Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and the House GOP leadership have been almost silent on the issue since the election. It is likely, though, that they would cooperate with their Senate colleagues to craft a wide-ranging resolution in the new Congress.
This is an issue that Republicans emphasized in midterm campaigns across the country. The new Congressional stance towards the President’s ISIS strategy will likely balance a desire for a stronger foreign policy with criticism of the administration’s leadership on the issue going into the 2016 presidential election