Democrats and Republicans in the House of Representatives have urged the new Speaker, Republican Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, to schedule a vote to authorize the deployment of troops to fight the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.

16875553952_dc21bcc8f9_oA bipartisan group of thirty-five Democrats and Republicans sent a letter to Ryan calling for the vote.

“We do not share the same policy prescriptions for U.S. military engagement in the region, but we do share the belief that it is past time for the Congress to fulfill its obligations under the Constitution and vote on an AUMF that clearly delineates the authority and limits, if any, on U.S. military engagement in Iraq, Syria and the surrounding region,” the group wrote in a letter sent to the Speaker on Friday.

A call for a new authorization for use of military force (AUMF) arose on November 4 when House members, primarily Democrats, argued the president lacks the constitutional authority to send special operations forces to Syria.

The Obama administration argues it has the authority to send troops under the 2001 AUMF designed to respond to the Sept. 11 attacks.

Republicans, led by South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham, believe a new AUMF is not required.

“Congress is pathetic here: the Congress has absolutely no stomach for destroying ISIL,” Graham argued. “Democrats and a few Republicans have absolutely no clue as to the threats we face—they would object to authorizing a ground force that could win.”

The Patriot Act and AUMF are clearly unconstitutional.

Bush’s Authorization for the Use of Military Force defied “the U.S. Constitution and international law and dealt a series of blows to the separation of powers, civil liberties, and accepted legal norms. Because most Americans were so stunned and frightened by the attacks of 9/11, they hardly questioned the legality or constitutionality of the AUMF at the time,” write  Leah Bolger and Ben Manski.

In February reported on an effort by the administration to deliberately make the language of a proposed renewal of the Bush era AUMF vague.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the proposal was left undefined “because we believe it’s important that there aren’t overly burdensome constraints that are placed on the commander in chief.”

Additionally, the administration believes the ambiguous AUMF will bring lawmakers together in a bipartisan coalition calling for a war against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq without restraint, including the use of ground troops.


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