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Congress slow to authorize ISIS fight

Iraq ISIS Abu Wahe 2941936b

JUNE 28, 2015, 10:19 PM    LAST UPDATED: SUNDAY, JUNE 28, 2015, 10:21 PM

Swept into power by Tea Party-inspired crowds demanding stricter adherence to the Constitution, the Republican-controlled Congress has decided not to exercise one of the powers clearly given to the legislative branch by the Founding Fathers: the power to declare war.

Even when there is overwhelming support, resolutions authorizing military force are never simple, as members know they are making choices that history will prove to be right or wrong. Debates can last days, as nearly every lawmaker gets his or her say before voting.

But in the case of the battle against the group known as the Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL, congressional leaders seem to be content to let President Obama operate without a specific authorization.

Opinion appears divided, with some in Congress wanting a more aggressive response than Obama has provided to date, and others wanting to see a clear endgame before endorsing an extension of what has already been nearly 14 years of war in Iraq.

So far, the push for Congress to debate these questions, however, has come from a minority that includes strict adherents to the Constitution, like Republican Rep. Scott Garrett, and lawmakers who regret their votes to invade Iraq more than a decade ago, like Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr.