Rand Paul: Let's Declare War on ISIS

Congress hasn't made formal declaration since WWII
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 24, 2014 7:05 AM CST
Rand Paul: Let's Declare War on ISIS
In this June 20, 2014, file photo, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., speaks in Washington.   (AP Photo/Molly Riley, File)

Rand Paul wants Congress to do something it hasn't done since World War II: formally declare war. President Obama plans to ask lawmakers to formally support the use of force against the militant group, the New York Times reports, but the senator described his own plan to the paper this weekend. Paul supports restricting military action to a single year and minimizing—though not banning—the deployment of ground forces. "War cannot be initiated without Congress," he says. As it stands, the White House says its action against ISIS is backed by 2001 legislation passed following the 9/11 attacks, as well as authorization provided in 2002 to former President George W. Bush as the US went to war in Iraq.

Paul wants to repeal the latter authorization and limit the 2001 legislation to one more year, the Times reports—limits that could be a hard sell even within his own party. Amid concerns over US intervention abroad, Paul has developed something of an isolationist reputation, the Times notes, but he says that image is inaccurate: "All I want people to do is report the truth." Paul, a potential 2016 presidential contender, plans to introduce his resolution next month, the Daily Beast reports, noting that the move would mark a reversal in Washington: Typically, it's the president, not Congress, who takes the lead in going to war. (More Rand Paul stories.)

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