Reporters asked the question six ways to Sunday, but Speaker John Boehner wouldn’t give an inch: he won’t say whether congressional authorization will be needed for additional military actions by President Obama to address the Islamic State (ISIS), a burgeoning terrorist group that is consolidating power in Iraq and Syria.
“The first step is, what’s the plan?” Boehner said. Congressional authorization is “not a key question because we don’t know what the strategy is. Until the president outlines a strategy to deal with this serious threat, I don’t know what’s going to be in there,” he added.
Pressed repeatedly by reporters on the question, Boehner stuck to the same script.
Boehner’s reticence came even as used his most forceful rhetoric to date on confronting ISIS, saying Obama should propose a strategy to “destroy” the group and suggesting U.S. military action could take place not just in Syria but in many other locations.
Boehner referenced a Rand Corporation study about the growing threat of terrorist fighters “around the world” and said the U.S. should “be going after the terrorist threat wherever it is.”
Several House GOP lawmakers, meanwhile, said they do want Obama to seek congressional authorization for additional military action against ISIS.