The Senate will send President Barack Obama legislation authorizing the use of military force against ISIS shortly after the GOP takes majority control in January, presumed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday.
In an interview with CNN’s Dana Bash, the Kentucky Republican said he’d like to see Obama ask Congress for such a measure — but that one is coming anyway.
“It would be even better if the President asked us for what he wants, but we’re not going to wait forever,” McConnell said.
“We’re certainly going to need to use force, there’s no question about it. They’re beheading Americans and posting it on the Internet. They’re a serious threat to our national security. And we’re going to have to act,” he said.
He signaled that crafting legislation green-lighting military action, which is already underway against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, could be an item on which Republicans could work with Obama.
“I think the President is moving in that direction himself,” McConnell said. “He’d be in a much stronger position with an authorization of the use of military force. We’ve been sort of expecting him to ask for it, but if he doesn’t, I think he will get one sometime soon after the first of the year.”
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will start its debate on authorizing the use of military force against ISIS this week. Secretary of State John Kerry is set to appear before the panel Tuesday. Meanwhile, Sens. Rand Paul, R-Kentucky, and Tim Kaine, D-Virginia, are pushing for a vote on a bill that would approve U.S. action.