President Barack Obama said Sunday that he will outline to the nation on Wednesday his plans for fighting Islamic militants, but does does not expect to ask Congress for approval to act.
“I’m preparing the country to make sure that we deal with a threat from ISIL,” using another name for Islamic militant group, Obama said in an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
Obama said he will meet with congressional leaders Tuesday and address the nation on Wednesday.
“There’s going to be an economic element to this. There’s going to be a political element to it. There’s going to be a military element to it,” he said. “And what I want people to understand, though, is that over the course of months, we are going to be able to not just blunt the momentum of ISIL. We are going to systematically degrade their capabilities. We’re going to shrink the territory that they control. And ultimately we’re going to defeat ‘em.”
Obama said the United States would be as part of an international coalition to offer assistance to the region, but repeated again that he would be sending ground troops to Iraq.
Obama also defended his decision to delay executive action on immigration, saying the summer’s surge of unaccompanied children at the Mexican border changed the politics of the issue.
He rejected criticism that the postponement is a political tactic intended to help embattled Democrats in the months before contentious midterm elections, saying that the delay will help make new immigration policies “sustainable” when they are announced later this year.
“I'm being honest now about the politics of it. This problem with unaccompanied children that we saw a couple weeks ago, where you had, from Central America, a surge of kids who were showing up at the border, got a lot of attention.”
“And you know, the truth of the matter is-- is that the politics did shift midsummer because of that problem. I want to spend some time, even as we're getting all our ducks in a row for the executive action, I also want to make sure that the public understands why we're doing this, why it's the right thing for the American people, why it's the right thing for the American economy.