Congressional Oversight Needed in Continuing Resolution
This week I voted in favor of a continuing resolution measure that would fund government operations. It also contained an amendment authored by House Armed Services Committee Chairman “Buck” McKeon (R-Calif.) to authorize train-and-equip authority as part of the effort to defeat the Islamic State.
President Obama needs to ask for authorization from Congress before taking military action. He also needs to communicate his plans and ultimate goals to Congress. Our goal should be to defeat those who call themselves the Islamic State. Congress is providing much-needed oversight today. If the president proceeds with further actions, he will need additional authorization from Congress.
It is imperative that we do everything in our power to secure the homeland against threats. I am very concerned about the security of our Southern border. I urge the Senate and President Obama to take up the border security measures recently passed by the House. A nation that is serious about the security of its people must also be serious about the security of its borders.
In addition to giving authority to train and equip vetted elements of the Syrian opposition, the McKeon amendment strengthens congressional oversight by requiring detailed progress reports on the planning and vetting process, including reports from President Obama on how efforts fit within the larger regional strategy. The McKeon amendment also clarifies that Congress has not given specific authorization for the use of military force.