News & Politics

Congressman Authors Declaration of War Against ISIS

Following the terror attack in Paris last Friday, a first-term congressman from Minnesota seeks an official declaration of war against ISIS. The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:

This is the first time a declaration of war has been authored by a member of Congress since 1941 — although Congress has authorized use of military force several times since then, including in both Iraq in 2002 and Afghanistan in 2001.

[Congressman Tom] Emmer’s measure would require congressional approval, which is no small hurdle given the political gridlock over the issue. Democrats are hesitant to authorize any ground forces again and many Republicans are wary about giving President Obama more power.

But Emmer, a House freshman, said Thursday he is fed up with the partisan bickering over the strategy Obama should ultimately use against ISIL [also known as ISIS] that claimed responsibility for multiple attacks in France last Friday.

“They’ve committed an unprovoked, horrendous, cowardly but well-planned attack in Paris,” Emmer said in an interview from his office on Capitol Hill. “I think the majority of this country could agree if we do nothing, they will come here. They have put us on notice. It’s not only the repeated unprovoked attacks, in this horrific attack on Paris, it’s the fact they are growing and are getting stronger.”

Emmer’s move threads the needle between opposing factions within the Republican Party, those weary of war without such a declaration and those desiring decisive action against the emerging caliphate. His proposal provides opportunity for public debate on America’s role, something previous authorizations of military force have sidestepped.

Emmer has “struck out on his own” here. No other member has signed onto his effort, and a request to fast-track the measure past committees has not been answered by Speaker Paul Ryan.