Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) said in a statement Tuesday that he supports military actions against ISIS–like the airstrikes President Obama just launched–but that the Constitution requires Obama to obtain congressional approval for such action.
“I support military action against ISIS but continue to believe the Constitution requires the President to receive Congressional authorization,” Paul said in a statement provided to Breitbart News.
President Obama did not seek congressional authorization for the strikes, which launched late Monday evening, a fact especially significant since he had sought — and obtained — authorization to arm Syrian rebels. Fox News’ Wendell Goler reported that in addition to the Middle East nations already involved in the strikes, Obama is heading to the United Nations on Tuesday to seek to add to the coalition.
Late Monday evening, Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI)–a libertarian-leaning conservative congressman–criticized President Obama for not seeking congressional authorization for these strikes and congressional leaders like Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid for not fighting for Obama to seek congressional authorization.
“It’s irresponsible & immoral that instead of debating & voting on war, congressional leaders chose to recess Congress for nearly two months,” Amash said via Twitter.
Even though Obama didn’t seek congressional authorization, Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA)–a generally hawkish member from Northern Virginia–introduced legislation that would have given congressional authorization for this and other attacks.
“It isn’t enough for the Congress to just say the administration isn’t doing enough then not participate,” Wolf told Breitbart News in a phone interview about his bill. “The Congress has the ability to declare war under the Constitution. I think the Congress has to be involved in this.”
“I think you also almost have to do what President [George H.W.] Bush did with regard to Desert Storm,” he explained. “If you put together a coalition of regional powers–they had the Saudis, even Syria was involved. You had all the countries out in the region involved. You had all of NATO involved–Americans cannot do this alone. We need to bring in all of this regional power.”