Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) believes the president is partaking in an illegal war against the Islamic State.
His op-ed, published Monday by the Daily Beast, demands President Obama to get Congressional authority for airstrikes in Syria and Iraq.
“The war is now illegal," Paul says. "It must be declared and made valid [by Congress], or it must be ended.”
Although the opinion piece appears as another attack on Obama, Sen. Paul’s real message lies in the War Powers Act of 1973 that gives the President 60 days to get Congressional authority for the use of military force. If authority has not been granted, the President must end the mission in 30 days.
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This week marks 90 days. There has been no Congressional consent. President Obama sent 1,500 more troops last week, totalling 2,900 troops fighting ISIS in a non-combat role. The White House announced it will ask Congress for an additional $5.6 billion to fight ISIS.
“Taking military action against ISIS is justified," Paul says. "The President acting without congress is not.”
Sen. Paul's argument is based on one of America’s fundamental principles: separation of powers. Legally, according to the War Powers Act, he is correct -- the President has not asked or received Congressional authority.
However, most of Congress has been on the campaign trail the last month trying to get re-elected. With a new Congress after the midterm election, the issue will be debated.
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Rules are rules, but for Sen. Paul, he might just have to wait for Congress to get back to Capitol Hill.
Photo Credit: Flickr, Gage Skidmore