WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) says he’s filing legislation that would give President Obama clear authority to order airstrikes against ISIS in Syria.
“This will ensure there’s no question that the president has the legal authority he needs to use airstrikes in Syria,” Nelson said. “Let there be no doubt, we must go after ISIS right away because the U.S. is the only one that can put together a coalition to stop this group that’s intent on barbaric cruelty.”
Two weeks ago, ISIS beheaded American journalist James Foley. On Tuesday, video surfaced online reportedly showing the murder of another American journalist, Steven Sotloff, though its authenticity hasn’t yet been officially confirmed by U.S. intelligence sources.
At issue with regard to airstrikes against ISIS in Syria is whether the president can order them without going to Congress.
He did so recently with airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq to protect hundreds of Americans on the ground there including at the U.S. Consulate.
But some policy experts question whether the administration has clear legal authority, independent of Congress, to broaden the air campaign to strike targets in Syria.
Nelson says his legislation would end any such questions in political and national security circles.
A senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Florida Democrat says he’ll file his measure as soon as he can after Congress returns next week.
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