U.S. Senator Bill Nelson

Serving Florida

Congress faced with decision on airstrikes in Syria

Sep 8, 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congress now faces a decision on authorizing airstrikes inside Syria to go after the terrorist organization known as ISIL.

At issue is legislation filed today by a U.S. senator from Florida who wants President Obama to have clear authority to order such strikes.

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Democrat and senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, says he filed his legislation so there would be no question as to whether or not the president has the authority to order strikes without first going to Congress.

“This is a barbaric group that’s committed heinous acts of torture and murder, and we have to go after them now - not only in Iraq, but in Syria as well,” Nelson said.

The administration has ordered airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq to protect the hundreds of Americans on the ground there including at the U.S. Consulate.

But some policy experts question whether the administration has clear legal authority, independent of Congress, to broaden the air campaign to strike targets in Syria.

Attached is a copy of Nelson’s legislation:

 

S. J. RES. ______

To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against the Islamic

State in Iraq and the Levant.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

Mr. NELSON introduced the following joint resolution; which was read twice

and referred to the Committee on ________________

JOINT RESOLUTION

To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against

the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.

1          Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives

2 of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

4          This joint resolution may be cited as the ‘‘Authoriza

5 tion for Use of Military Force against the Islamic State

6 in Iraq and the Levant’’.

 

1 SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES

2                      ARMED FORCES AGAINST THE ISLAMIC

3                      STATE IN IRAQ AND THE LEVANT.

4          (a) IN GENERAL.—That the President is authorized

5 to use appropriate force against the Islamic State in Iraq

6 and the Levant (ISIL) in order to prevent terrorist attacks

7 on the people and interests of the United States and our

8 allies.

9          (b) NO AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF ROTATIONAL

10 GROUND FORCES.—The authorization in this section does

11 not include authorization for the use of rotational ground

12 forces.

13        (c) EXPIRATION.—The authorization in this section

14 shall expire on the date that is three years after the date

15 of the enactment of this joint resolution.

16        (d) WAR POWERS RESOLUTION REQUIREMENTS.—

17                    (1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION.—

18        Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers

19        Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is

20        intended to constitute specific statutory authoriza

21        tion within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War

22        Powers Resolution.

23                    (2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIRE

24        MENTS.—Nothing in this resolution supercedes any

25        requirement of the War Powers Resolution.