California Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein is calling for the U.S. military to attack ISIS in Iraq. She has also said the besieged country’s current leader, Nouri al-Maliki, needs to step down.
"I think most important is that we take direct action now against ISIS, marching down to Baghdad, and prevent them from getting into Baghdad," said Feinstein, who is the chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.
Feinstein believes a “reconciliation” government needs to replace al-Maliki, who was approved by the Iraqi government for a second term as president in December, 2010.
"I think it’s most important that the Maliki government be replaced, and that includes Mr. Maliki with a reconciliation government," she said. "Based on all I’ve heard, read and know, Mr. Maliki is not able to bring about reconciliation in that country.”
The Saudis, who supported ISIS and other jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq, also believe al-Maliki should be replaced. The Saudis, who are Sunni Muslims, have refused to meet with the president of Iraq, who is a Shia Muslim.
Sen. McCain calls for air strikes.
Arizona Senator John McCain also demanded on Tuesday al-Maliki step down. McCain said Obama needs to send emissaries to Baghdad to "work with Maliki and tell him he’s got to step down and have a coalition government."
McCain and other members of Congress are calling for air strikes. "My concern is whether we’re going to do anything besides send a few extra Marines, which won’t do anything," he said. "So far we’ve done nothing of any significance to change the momentum of these people who are taking over large portions of Iraq.”
Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins said ISIS would not be a problem in Iraq if NATO was there. Collins, however, expressed skepticism about air strikes. "The question is whether air strikes would work," she said.