President Obama told congressional leaders from both parties that he does not need their approval to launch additional military action against the Islamic State (ISIS), but it would be preferable if they did provide it.
“The President told the Leaders that he has the authority he needs to take action against ISIL in accordance with the mission he will lay out in his address tomorrow night,” the White House said in a readout of a summit held Tuesday with congressional leaders on the subject.
Obama “reiterated his belief that the nation is stronger and our efforts more effective when the President and Congress work together to combat a national security threat like ISIL. The President told the Leaders that he would welcome action by the Congress that would aid the overall effort and demonstrate to the world that the United States is united in defeating the threat from ISIL. The President and his team look forward to continuing extensive consultation with Congress,” the statement continued.
Speaker John Boehner’s readout of the meeting indicated that the Republican speaker urged quick and aggressive action to confront the burgeoning terrorist threat, but did not address whether he believes congressional authorization is required.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell told reporters he believes Obama should seek congressional authority for additional military action earlier Tuesday. McConnell is planning a significant speech on the topic for Wednesday morning, a Senate aide said.