U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), a strong advocate for attacking the Sunni extremist group Islamic State (IS) in Syria, today introduced a joint resolution giving the President authority to use force against the group in Syria, including commandos on the ground if needed.
President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech Wednesday laying out his strategy for dealing with IS. Obama has maintained that he does not need Congressional authority to act, and that he is not calling for troops on the ground in Syria.
Nelson, a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said while he believes the President has the authority to act on his own, “there are some who disagree, so rather than quibble about legalities, I have filed this legislation.”
Nelson’s resolution has a three-year limit on actions, but offers flexibility to insert limited U.S. troops on the ground, if needed.
American boots have already been on the ground in Syria with the rescue attempt of journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, who were later beheaded by IS, said Nelson, pointing out that Sotloff was a Florida native.
Note this legislation would authorize Special Forces to be on the ground but not large army divisions ‘rotational forces.’
Attached is a copy of Nelson’s legislation:
S. J. RES. ______
To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against the Islamic
State in Iraq and the Levant.
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
Mr. NELSON introduced the following joint resolution; which was read twice
and referred to the Committee on ________________
To authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against
the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant.
1 Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives
2 of the United States of America in Congress assembled,
3 SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
4 This joint resolution may be cited as the ‘‘Authoriza
5 tion for Use of Military Force against the Islamic State
6 in Iraq and the Levant’’.
1 SEC. 2. AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF UNITED STATES
2 ARMED FORCES AGAINST THE ISLAMIC
3 STATE IN IRAQ AND THE LEVANT.
4 (a) IN GENERAL.—That the President is authorized
5 to use appropriate force against the Islamic State in Iraq
6 and the Levant (ISIL) in order to prevent terrorist attacks
7 on the people and interests of the United States and our
9 (b) NO AUTHORIZATION FOR USE OF ROTATIONAL
10 GROUND FORCES.—The authorization in this section does
11 not include authorization for the use of rotational ground
13 © EXPIRATION.—The authorization in this section
14 shall expire on the date that is three years after the date
15 of the enactment of this joint resolution.
16 (d) WAR POWERS RESOLUTION REQUIREMENTS.—
17 (1) SPECIFIC STATUTORY AUTHORIZATION.—
18 Consistent with section 8(a)(1) of the War Powers
19 Resolution, the Congress declares that this section is
20 intended to constitute specific statutory authoriza
21 tion within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War
22 Powers Resolution.
23 (2) APPLICABILITY OF OTHER REQUIRE
24 MENTS.—Nothing in this resolution supercedes any
25 requirement of the War Powers Resolution.