09.10.14

House Dem Calls for ISIS Vote After Speech

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) called for Congress to vote to authorize President Obama's plan against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria after he announced his strategy on Wednesday evening. 

"As the President said 'we are strongest as a nation when the President and Congress work together,' that is why I believe the President’s plan requires a thoughtful debate and vote by Congress," she said in a statement. Dozens of lawmakers had called for a vote to authorize the president's plan against ISIS, but in recent days said they would wait to hear Obama's plan first. 

Lee was among the first to call for a vote after his speech, despite the president saying during the address that he already had the authority he needed to act and did not need — but welcomed — Congress's approval. 

The president outlined a four-part strategy that would require a "systematic campaign of airstrikes," increase support to Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting ISIS on the ground, go after ISIS's funding and recruitment networks, and expand the humanitarian mission to "tens of thousands of Christians and other religious minorities" in Iraq. 

Lee said the new mission warranted a congressional vote. 

"The facts are clear. We are no longer talking about limited strikes to prevent genocide and protect U.S. personnel. We are talking about sustained bombing and the use of military force," she said. 

"The threat from ISIS is serious. But before we take any further military action, Congress must debate the threats to our national security, the risks to American servicemen and women and the financial costs of waging another war in the Middle East," she added. 

"The Constitution requires Congress to vote on the use of military force. This is not about this President. This is about any President and any Congress. We must re-establish the checks and balances laid out by the Constitution," she said.  

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