Congress faced with decision on airstrikes in Syria
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 ________________
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
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
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.