Congressional Democrats and Republicans on Sunday criticized the proposal President Obama recently submitted to Capitol Hill on defeating The Islamic State, suggesting it doesn’t go far enough.
Some of the most pointed criticism came from Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee.
He said the part of the proposal that limits the use of U.S. military force to three years is “not appropriate.”
“We don’t want to send a signal to the world that we’re there for just so many years,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Unfortunately, this battle is going to take a long time. … I think we’d be better off with a resolution without a specific time limit.”
The draft proposal that Obama submitted to Congress last week also calls for limited use of U.S. ground troops and no geographical limits on going after the extremist groups.
If approved, the Authorization for Use of Military Force would repeal the 2002 one that President George W. Bush used for the war in Iraq.
Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, argued on “Meet the Press” that Obama should have broad authority and that Congress restricting him might be unconstitutional.
McCain also said he continues to push for more U.S. military presence around the world because the president shouldn’t have pulled out of some hotspots — like Afghanistan and Iraq.
“You have to have a stabilizing force,” he said. “You’re going to also have to have American boots on the ground. That does not mean massive numbers. … But it does mean forward air controllers, Special Forces and many others.”
He also said Obama probably doesn’t need congressional authority, but Congress should debate the issue.
To be sure, leaders of the Republican-run House and Senate on Sunday vowed a full debate, starting when members return Feb. 24.
“We’re going to have exhaustive hearings” in the House’s Foreign Affairs, Intelligence and Armed Services committees, Speaker John Boehner told “Fox News Sunday.”
Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CBS’ “Face the Nation”: “We’re going to begin a robust set of hearings as soon as we get back.”
He also questioned the administration’s commitment to dealing with the Islamic State, suggested the president’s proposal doesn’t go far enough in stating the U.S. strategy in Syria.