Rep. John Garamendi on Wednesday joined the chorus of lawmakers from both parties warning against mission creep in Iraq drawing the U.S. back into a war in the Middle East.
Garamendi, in an appearance on MSNBC, said he believes President Barack Obama, who has ordered air strikes on insurgents, humanitarian aid and more troops to Iraq to protect U.S. interests, is operating within the bounds of the War Powers Act, but the California Democrat cautioned that Congress must weigh in if intervention in the splintered country is ramped up further. "When we return in September, I would hope that Congress would conduct a series of very intense briefings and hearings so that we can learn from the president what his goal is, what the extent of engagement might be and what the slippery slope might look like," he said. "It is creeping toward war."
Garamendi took a shot at two high-profile Republican senators — Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and John McCain of Arizona — who have criticized the president for not moving more aggressively against the Islamic State, a group of Sunni insurgents who have routed government forces and terrorized religious minorities in northern Iraq.
"Those two fellows would like to bomb everywhere all of the time and have said that much over the last several years," he said. "No, I don't think we ought to follow their lead at all."
Senators Ted Cruz, a Republican, and Tim Kaine, a Democrat, have also warned in recent days that the president needs to seek congressional approval for further military action in Iraq.
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