The president has been accused of abusing his power in the last couple of years by using executive orders to get around Congress. Now, he may do it again in the war against ISIS in Syria.
According to White House aids, the president is undecided on whether he will advance with military force in Syria. If he does, he's unlikely to wait for permission from Congress or the Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Senator Bob Corker (R-TN), leader on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), leader of the sub-committee on the Middle East, have both called for the president to secure authorization from Congress before acting. According to the 1973 War Powers Act, a president's power to send troops overseas without a formal declaration of war from Congress is limited. The president, according to his aides, refuses to commit at this time to seeking proper authorization.
Some media outlets are reporting that the president has already approved surveillance flights over Syria as a prelude to further action. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest refuses to elaborate on future plans, however. “We have not speculated about what sort of authority would be required from Congress if the president were to make a decision to authorize the use of military force in Syria,” Earnest said in a press conference.
The president might also seek a vote for additional funds for operations against ISIS, which both Congress and the public will see as a less aggressive action. “A stand-alone War Powers vote is about Obama. A vote to fund the troops is about the troops,” said one unnamed Senator's aide to Yahoo News.
Photo: Daily Mail, NATO Council
The President won't commit to asking for formal approval from Congress when it comes to sending troops into Syria to fight ISIS.