Most of the major party leaders on both sides of the aisle were pretty straightforward about their opposition to voting on the ISIS war before the Tuesday election. President Obama was fine with it at the time, insisting he didn’t need authorization.
Now that the election’s over, President Obama is changing his tune, and pushing for the lame duck Congress to quickly rubber stamp the conflict before the new one takes office.
“The idea is to right-size and update whatever authorization Congress provides to suit the current fight,” Obama insisted. With the incoming Congress far more hawkish and doubtless to push a far more aggressive scope of the war, the president seems hopeful he can get the formality of a Congressional vote out of the way without them.
Legally, such a vote should’ve happened long ago, with the War Powers Act allowing the president only a 60 day window to seek authorization from Congress. If it had been held before the vote, the unpopularity of the conflict might’ve scared some off of backing it.
Now, with Congress outgoing and those returning to session years from having to face reelection, there’s likely to be much more stomach for pushing through a quick vote, and less serious debate.