House Speaker John Boehner (R-Boehner) says he’s more than willing to bring Congress back from recess to debate a war resolution against the Islamic State group, but President Barack Obama has to ask.
“I’d be happy to,” Boehner offered on ABC’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday, according to a transcript.
“So to be clear — if the president put a resolution forward now, you’d call Congress back?” host George Stephanopoulos later pressed.
“I’d bring the Congress back,” Boehner reiterated.
The Obama administration has repeatedly insisted that the Congress’ 2001 authorization of military force, passed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, gives the necessary legal authority for its airstrike campaign against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS. However, many members of Congress have argued the White House needs a new authorization.
“I think they’re on nonexistent legal ground, but unfortunately I don’t see a way of stopping that,” Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) told Business Insider last week. “I think this is illegal.”
Boehner said Sunday he believes Obama is right but Congress should still debate the issue.
“The president typically in a situation like this would call for an authorization vote and go sell that to the American people and send a resolution to the Hill. The president has not done that. He believes he has authority under existing resolutions to do what he’s done,” Boehner said. “I think he does have the authority to do it. But the point I’m making is this is a proposal that the Congress ought to consider.”
Boehner also questioned whether airstrikes will be enough to defeat ISIS.
“At the end of the day, I think it’s gonna take more than air strikes to drive them outta there,” he said. “At some point somebody’s boots have to be on the ground.”
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