House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said today that President Obama needs to trash his weak authorization for use of military force (AUMF) request.
In February, Obama submitted his plan to Congress for an AUMF against “the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.”
Obama’s AUMF plan specifically “does not authorize the use of the United States Armed Forces in enduring offensive ground combat operations.”
His proposal repeals the 2002 Iraq AUMF and limits the new one to three years. “I do not believe America’s interests are served by endless war or by remaining on a perpetual war footing,” Obama said back at the plan’s introduction, adding that it’s “not a timetable” but “it’s conceivable that the mission is completed earlier.”
It drew both Republican and Democratic opposition, from lawmakers who saw it as weak and handcuffing the administration’s abilities and those who saw it as dragging the U.S. into another war.
In short, the AUMF has gone nowhere in Congress — and Boehner indicated that’s not going to change.
“The president’s request for an authorization of the use of military force calls for less authority than he has today. I just think, given the fight that we’re in, it’s irresponsible. This is why the president, frankly, should withdraw the authorization of use of military force and start over,” he told reporters.
“We don’t have a strategy. And for those of you that come to these regularly, for over two years now, I’ve been calling on the president to develop an over-arching strategy to deal with this growing terrorist threat,” Boehner continued. “We don’t have one.”
“And the fact is, the threat is growing faster than what we and our allies can do to stop it.”
Asked why Congress just doesn’t draft an AUMF, Boehner replied, “We have one commander in chief at a time.”
“It’s the president’s responsibility to wage this battle. And the president, in my view, is not taking this threat seriously as it should. When a major city in Iraq, Ramadi, gets overrun by ISIL and the administration says, ‘Well, it’s just a temporary setback’ — it’s 70 miles from Baghdad,” he said.
“It’s time for the president to get serious about this threat to Americans and our allies all around the world.”