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While the amendment’s fate is uncertain, the House is gearing up for an investigation by a newly appointed panel on Benghazi. It is sure to touch on why the Benghazi attackers remain at large, as well as investigate the deaths of U.S. Ambassador to Libya J. Christopher Stevens, State Department aide Sean Smith, and Tyrone Woods and Glen Doherty, two former SEALs operating as CIA security officers.

Mr. Obama has not sought authority to kill Benghazi terrorists, whom the intelligence community concluded were linked to al Qaeda. In fact, he vowed in a landmark speech at Fort McNair last year not to sign any law that expands the use of military force.

Still, the president has not been shy about using the law to allow missile-armed drones to kill al Qaeda operatives in Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other locations. But last year, at Fort McNair, he urged Congress to scale back the use-of-military-force law he has embraced over the past five years and ultimately repeal it.

A White Houses spokeswoman declined to comment on Mr. Hunter’s amendment.

The first public explanation of why there has been no Benghazi strike came from Gen. Dempsey. His testimony in closed session last year was declassified by the Pentagon and released by the Armed Services committee earlier this year.

Asked by Rep. Michael Conaway, Texas Republican, why the U.S. has not gone after the Benghazi culprits, the four-star general said:

“Well, first of all, the individuals related in the Benghazi attack — those that we believe were either participants or leadership of it — are not [subject to] authorized use of military force. In other words, they don’t fall under the AUMF authorized by the Congress of the United States. So we would not have the capability to simply find them and kill them, either with a remotely-piloted aircraft or with an assault on the ground. Therefore, they will have to be captured, and we would when asked provide capture options to do that.”

That testimony ultimately prompted Mr. Hunter’s amendment, which reads:

“The president is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations or persons the president determines planned, authorized, committed or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2012, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States … ”

At Fort McNair, Mr. Obama portrayed the use-of-military-force law as antiquated.

“Unless we discipline our thinking, our definitions, our actions, we may be drawn into more wars we don’t need to fight, or continue to grant Presidents unbound powers more suited for traditional armed conflicts between nation states,” he said.

“I will not sign laws designed to expand this mandate further. Our systematic effort to dismantle terrorist organizations must continue. But this war, like all wars, must end,” the president said.