Many in Congress on Board with Strikes Against ISIS

Many in Congress, including Speaker of the House John Boehner, have issued statements supporting President Obama’s use of airstrikes against the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). This is a marked difference from last summer, when many Members asserted that the Congress must provide authorization to attack Syria. Congress even came back from its August recess early last year to deal with the issue. The President, ultimately, did not receive permission to attack. Although Members have expressed support for the President this time around, they have offered criticism as well. A number of Republicans said that the President should have acted sooner. Democratic Senator Tim Kaine said that he supports the airstrikes, but they still require Congress’ approval. “Since the Administration has conceded that the 2002 Iraq Authorization for Use of Military Force is obsolete and should be repealed, it is now up to the Administration to receive Congressional authorization for the current air campaign against IS.  This is especially the case since the President has indicated that our renewed military engagement in Iraq could be a long-term project”, he said in a statement. Senator Kaine and Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona have introduced a bill to “clarify the consultation process between the Legislative and Executive branches”.

U.S. New & World Report: A Year After Objecting to Strikes Against Syria, Congress Is OK with Obama’s Iraq Intervention

Senator Tim Kaine: Kaine Statement on Iraq

Opinion: A Liberal Case Against Executive Action on Immigration

New York Magazine writer Jonathan Chait has little love for Republicans, but recently penned an article opposing the use of sweeping Executive actions to reform America’s immigration policies. It’s largely a what’s-good-for-the-goose-is-good-for-the-gander argument. “I fully support Obama’s immigration policy goals. But the defenses of Obama’s methods seem weak and short-sighted”, he writes. The Democrats would not abide by what the President is doing if he were a Republican, and President Obama shouldn’t give them an example to cite as a justification for some similar action in the future. “To think that the cycle will end here, and that a future president won’t claim more expansive and disturbing powers to selectively enforce the law, requires an optimism not borne out by history. In the short run, we will rejoice in the sudden deliverance of massive humanitarian relief to people who have done nothing more than try to create a better life for their families. In the long run, we may look back on it with regret”, Chait concludes.

New York: Obama’s Immigration Plan Should Scare Liberals, Too

Which Members of Congress Have Taken the Ice Bucket Challenge?

Since it’s August, it’s wicked hot in DC, and some politicians are cooling off by taking the “Ice Bucket Challenge”. The challenge is a social media meme where participants are either doused with a bucket of ice water or donate money to fight amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, a degenerative neuromuscular affliction. Of course, enterprising participants took it upon themselves to nominate current and former Members of Congress for the challenge. And they challenged their colleagues as well. So far, Representative Martha Roby of Alabama, Representative Eric Swalwell of California, Representative Joe Kennedy of Massachusetts, and Representative Cicilline of Rhode Island have accepted the challenge. They all have nominated other Members of Congress or other public personae. (Other Members may have participated—this is not meant to be an exhaustive list.)

Roll Call: Politicians Increasingly Game for Ice Bucket Challenge

YouTube: Martha Roby ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge”

And for our latest post: Is Congress Really “Useless”?