News / USA

Some US Lawmakers Seek Vote on Military Action Against Islamic State

An Islamic State militant uses a loud-hailer to announce to residents of Tabqa city that Tabqa air base has fallen to Islamic State militants, in nearby Raqqa city, Syria, Aug. 24, 2014.
An Islamic State militant uses a loud-hailer to announce to residents of Tabqa city that Tabqa air base has fallen to Islamic State militants, in nearby Raqqa city, Syria, Aug. 24, 2014.
Cindy Saine

President Barack Obama says members of Congress, who are not in session this month, will not be left out of any major decisions on U.S. policy toward the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria. Some lawmakers are calling for Congress to debate and hold a vote on any expanded military action when members return in September.

A small but bipartisan group of lawmakers is calling for Congress to debate and vote on whether or not to authorize President Obama to expand U.S. military operations against Islamic State targets in Iraq, or perhaps even across the border in Syria. One of them is Republican Congressman Walter Jones of North Carolina, who spoke to VOA on Friday.

"You might know that I joined [Democratic Representatives] Jim McGovern and Barbara Lee in writing a letter to Speaker [John] Boehner asking him that we have a debate on the floor of the House and a resolution saying to the president that any expansion of our military in Iraq or any part of the country that he must come to Congress to ask for support," he said.

The administration has already authorized surveillance flights over Syria, and some Republican lawmakers are calling on the president to come up with a comprehensive strategy to not just deter the Islamic State, but to defeat the Sunni extremist group before it threatens the U.S. homeland.

Some Republicans seized on a comment the president made Thursday of not yet having a strategy to counter the Islamic militants, calling it worrisome. Obama explained that he is working out a strategy with his top military advisers and U.S. allies. He said congressional action would be premature at this point.

"We need to make sure that we’ve got clear plans, that we’re developing them," he said. "At that point, I will consult with Congress and make sure that their voices are heard.  But there’s no point in me asking for action on the part of Congress before I know exactly what it is that is going to be required for us to get the job done."

The president signaled that Congress will have plenty of time to be involved when members return on September 8.  But since there are midterm congressional elections coming up in November, some members may be reluctant to cast a vote on more U.S. military action in the Middle East.
Democratic Representative Kathy Castor says, "I don't have much faith that the GOP leadership in the House will actually have a debate, notwithstanding a vote."

Congressman Jones said the U.S. Constitution requires Congress to authorize the use of the U.S. military and that Americans are weary of war after the years of conflict in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"Why in the world are we always trying to go into some other country and protect those people instead of protecting our own people?  I am not an isolationist, but I understand one thing, when we cannot secure our own borders then we got our problems right here in America," he said.

President Obama said members of Congress will definitely need to be involved, with lawmakers needed to authorize funding for U.S. military strikes against the Islamic State.

You May Like

Multimedia US Nurse ‘Cured of Ebola,’ NIH Says

Nina Pham, Texas nurse who treated first Ebola patient in US, received no experimental drugs; WHO expects vaccine surge in 2015 More

Video Islamic State Militants Encroach on Baghdad

Iraqi capital not under ‘imminent threat,’ US military says, amid worries about foothold More

Video Hong Kong Protesters Focus on Holding Volatile Mong Kok

Activists say holding Mong Kok is key to their movement's success, despite confrontations with angry residents and police More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Mark from: Virginia
August 30, 2014 3:31 PM
Congressman Jones, whoever you are, I like your thinking. Someone in Congress does have the balls to say that aloud, after all... I've been wondering that for years, why ARE we always trying to protect people in other countries (when we don't even know if they WANT our protection) when we leave our own people here unprotected and insecure.
I'm so sick of this country spending billions on foreign aid packages to feed people in other countries when millions of our own are starving. Money that is never accounted for, by the way. Who knows what the leaders of those 'impoverished' countries are doing with that money. Are those people being fed? or are pockets being lines by those leaders?

I am an Isolationist-thinking individual, the last ten years have driven me to it. It would do us good to close our borders for a good long while and focus on the legal residents' needs. Trillions of dollars can be saved that way not funding foreign militias who will only turn their backs on us and start a ruckus elsewhere, that we will eventually have to send troops to eradicate.
Imagine what a few billion dollars spent by Congress to aid America can truly do. Improved housing, even cheap housing for the homeless, increased jobs that Americans can work at (not illegals taking them over), truly affordable health care that does not bear the name of a President who is only interested in his 'legacy' anyway. Better training for law enforcement, better education for the future leaders of this great land. Just for thinking and focusing 'inside the box' (in this case, inside the borders).
This country is going to hell in a hand basket right now. We need to start taking better care of our own and worry less about the fortunes of other countries' people. Let their countries' governments take care of their needs. It should not be our responsibility all the time.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid