The Washington Post reports: As lawmakers continue to spar with President Obama over his use of executive power on an Iran nuclear deal and a slew of domestic matters, most appear willing to let him have his way on at least one issue — the war against the Islamic State in Iraq, Syria and potentially beyond.
It has been nearly three months since Obama, responding to congressional demands and his own pledge to seek legislative blessing, sent proposed war authorization language to Capitol Hill. Now, the subject appears to be dying a quiet death.
A feisty bipartisan minority is not prepared to let it go without a fight. Thirty House lawmakers from both parties Thursday signed a letter to Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) demanding that he force action on the Authorization for the Use of Military Force, or AUMF, against the Islamic State.
If not, wrote its primary authors, Reps. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.), “this shirking of our duty will have lasting effects, serving to expand the scope of executive power at the expense of Congress.”
But Boehner and other GOP leaders, blaming the Democrats, have already effectively announced the demise of the AUMF. They say they see no way to bridge deep partisan disagreements over how much authority to give the president.
The AUMF saga is a twist on conventional Washington wisdom in more ways than one. Unlike virtually every other issue before lawmakers, it is the Democrats who have argued for narrowing Obama’s latitude. They worry that vague language in his proposal, including about the possibility of ground troops, would deprive Congress of its ability to check executive action and allow Obama or his successor unlimited expansion of global military actions. [Continue reading…]