On Tuesday, President Obama met for the first time with the new leaders of Congress to discuss policy issues that the two branches of government can work together on.
One issue they were able to agree on was national security and the fight against ISIS. The president is hoping the Democrats and Republicans can work together and produce a new authorization for military force that could end the reliance on the Sept. 11-era laws and push toward a new, more sophisticated strategy in the Middle East.
The meeting, attended by 19 Republican and Democratic lawmakers, spoke on several issues including the recently passed Keystone XL pipeline, the budget of the Department of Homeland Security, and possible changes to the Affordable Care Act.
While those issues brought about disagreement between the two parties, the U.S. combat operations against the Islamic State was something Congress and the White House could agree on.
As of now, the President is using the 2001 authorization for use of military force, despite his call to repeal the law in May 2013. He plans to re-write the law.
“A good starting place is for him to tell us what he wants and provide the initial document off which we would work,” Senate majority leader Mitch McConnell said of Obama's plan to re-write the law.
The White House commented on the meeting, saying that they are “committed to working with members of both parties on text for an AUMF that Congress can pass to show the world America stands united against ISIL.”
Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, acknowledged that a new authorization is what Congress and the White House should be focusing on.
“I think it's the right thing to do,” he said. “It's what we've always asked for.”
While there is still much to debate about the war against ISIS, Republicans and Democrats were able to agree that a new authorization for the use of force will unite America against Islamic terrorists.