As expected, President Obama delivered to Congress yesterday his proposal for authorization of use of military force (AUMF) against ISIS. And the proposal is putting Democrat House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in the hotseat.
Though Americans are still leery of another protracted war scenario, the growing threat from ISIS has voters concerned that the possibility of another 9/11-style attack on American soil is increasing.
That concern is putting pressure on Congress to give additional authorization to the White House to take very specific action, but the threat of such action is two-fold The Hill’s Mike Lillis.
First, Democrats fear that the AUMF is too broad and could lead to another Iraq-like debacle. Second, Republicans fear that the AUMF places too many limits on the Pentagon to be effective and would nearly guarantee a protracted and ineffective campaign to stop ISIS.
Those concerns are coupled with the political pressure wherein Democrats in the House general are opposed to the AUMF despite that it has come from their Democrat President. Should Pelosi oppose the proposal, she would do as a public snubbing of the party’s executive leadership, but if she supported it she may lose the backing of her House colleagues.
Her hope that she might be able to thread the needle on the AUMF was summed by her response to the proposal yesterday, “We hope to have bipartisan support for something that would limit the power of the president but nonetheless protect the American people.”
The debate in the House is unique in that Republican leaders are actually arguing that more discretion should be given to the president to execute the campaign against ISIS.