President Barack Obama will meet Tuesday with the top four congressional leaders, with foreign policy on the agenda, according to a senior Senate aide.
The meeting with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., Speaker John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., follows the NATO summit and comes as Obama has vowed to marshal an international coalition to "destroy" the terrorist group ISIS, also known as the Islamic State or ISIL.
McConnell issued a statement Saturday calling on Obama to propose a strategy at the meeting:
"Now that the President has conducted initial consultations with our allies, and stated his objective to degrade and destroy ISIL, it's time to present a strategy to Congress—I hope he will begin to do that at Tuesday’s meeting. Such a strategy must include regional plans to destroy ISIL within Iraq and Syria, and a role for a coalition of partners working to protect their respective national interests. To defeat ISIL, the President must use the full extent of his authorities to attack this enemy force. He needs to identify military objectives, and explain how those ends will be accomplished. The President needs to present this plan to the Congress and the American people, and where the President believes he lacks authority to execute such a strategy, he needs to explain to the Congress how additional authority for the use of force will protect America. It has become clear that the President's plan as outlined in his West Point speech, to train and equip the militaries of partner nations as the United States draws down its conventional forces across the globe, is not tenable and will not generate sufficient combat power to protect America. If the President is prepared to engage Congress with a strategic plan to protect the U.S. and our allies from ISIL, I believe he will have significant congressional support. The threat from ISIL is real and it’s growing—and it is time for President Obama to exercise some leadership in launching a response.”
Lawmakers in both parties and both chambers have proposed resolutions authorizing military action against the group in both Iraq and Syria, but leaders have yet to endorse that idea and Obama hasn't yet asked for a vote.
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