A pair of competing bills have been offered in the House and Senate today which seek to authorize the new US war against ISIS in both Iraq and Syria. The bills were introduced by Sen. Bill Nelson (D – FL) and Rep. Frank Wolf (R – VA), respectively.
The Nelson bill limits the war’s duration to three years, and also rules out any use of ground troops. The Wolf bill does not forbid any use of ground troops, nor does it have a time limit attached.
Obama insisted on Sunday that he doesn’t believe he needs a Congressional authorization for the war, and already has the “authorization that I need to protect the American people.” The White House is, however, expressing hope they can get some sort of “buy in” from Congress for the war, so long as it doesn’t asset any actual authority or limit the war’s escalation in any way.
President Obama is planning a Wednesday address to lay out more of the details of his planned escalation of the war, and is invited Congressional leaders to meet with him on Tuesday to get a preview.
The White House is also pushing Congress to agree to their previous demands to create a $5 billion “fund” that would train and equip “international partners” in the war, along with providing aid to Syria’s neighbors to cope with the growing refugee crisis. This is, of course, above and beyond the costs of the war itself.