Obama Downplays Congressional Role in War, But Seeks ‘Backing’

Little Debate on ISIS War in Congress, Votes Unclear

In his Wednesday night speech, President Obama once again downplayed the idea of Congress having a serious role to play in the new ISIS war, insisting he has the authority to launch the war unilaterally.

Still, he pushed Congress to give some sort of rubber stamp to the operation, and more importantly to give him broad new resources to spend on the conflict, including bankrolling a new campaign to arm Syrian rebels, in spite of many of the arms ending up in ISIS hands.

The insistence that the US Congress has no role in the war authorization itself doesn’t seem to be getting much real resistance from the Congress themselves, as indeed there’s been very little public debate on the war, and not much public pushback on the conflict.

There are Congressmen in both parties averse to the ISIS war, but so far the indications are that there aren’t that many so averse that they want to get it down on record as a vote against the conflict.

Indeed, the primary pushes for a vote at all seem to be coming from hawks like Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R – KY), who are desperate to hype the war, and the administration’s efforts to acquire funding for its various sideline campaigns are likely to be quick, and with little debate.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.