ISIS AUMF Debate a 2016 Foreign Policy Test

Posted February 8, 2015 at 5:51pm

Congress is gearing up — belatedly — for a full-throated war debate that will serve as a proving ground for potential presidential candidates heading into 2016, Roll Call reports.  

With a draft Authorization for Use of Military Force against the Islamic State terror group expected on Capitol Hill by the middle of the week, as lawmakers complete work before a weeklong Presidents Day recess, the debate over how much authority to give President Barack Obama will soon take center stage.  

The issue will provide opportunities for jockeying among those senators seeking their party’s nomination for president, including Lindsey Graham, who recently announced his intention to explore the possibilities.  

The South Carolina Republican, one of the leading hawks in the GOP, could end up as an unlikely ally to Obama, who won’t want his hands tied. Graham said he has no interest in a narrowly tailored AUMF for aerial missions and support functions against the terrorist group also known as ISIS or ISIL.