He said that intervening in Kosovo was unpopular at the time, but was the right thing to do. He also referenced Rwanda, saying that if that country’s genocide was taking place now, intervening would be unpopular there too.
Asked what he might do if the Senate and House split on the authorization, Obama said he didn’t want to “jump the gun and speculate because right now, I’m working to get as much support as possible.”
However, White House Deputy National Security Adviser Tony Blinken told NPR this morning that the president would not likely act without Congress’ approval.
“The president, of course, has the authorization to act, but it’s neither his desire nor his intention to use that authority absent Congress backing him,” Blinken said.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.