Congress

Paul proposes declaraton of war against Islamic State

Sen. Rand Paul Wednesday proposed having Congress formally declare war against the “organization referring to itself as the Islamic State (ISIS) and the government and people of the United States.”

“I believe the President must come to Congress to begin a war and that Congress has a duty to act,” the Kentucky Republican said. “Right now, this war is illegal until Congress acts pursuant to the Constitution and authorizes it.”

Congress has not formally declared war since World War II. Paul, who is considering a 2016 presidential bid, believes that before the U.S. can engage in war, the Constitution requires congressional consent.

Since World War II, presidents have engaged in a number of combat missions. President Barack Obama has sent troops to aid and train Iraqi security, and authorized airstrikes against targets in Iraq and Syria.

Paul’s chance has little chance of winning Senate approval.

In his proposal, formally introduced Wednesday, legislation quotes the Constitution as saying, "The Congress shall have the Power to ... declare war.” It wolud authorize Obama to take military action against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria to protect and to guard against threats to U.S. interests for a year.

The legislation cites quotes from Presidents George Washington and James Madison, and noted “Whereas the organization referring to itself as the Islamic State has declared war on the United States and its allies; and Whereas the Islamic State presents a clear and present danger to United States diplomatic facilities in the region, including our embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, and consulate in Erbil, Iraq...” the legislation may be cited as the "Declaration of War against the Organization known as the Islamic State.”

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