Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, one of the sharpest Republican critics of President Obama’s strategy to combat the Islamic State terrorist group, unveiled a draft Declaration of War resolution Monday that he plans to introduce when Congress comes back in December.
“I believe the president must come to Congress to begin a war and that Congress has a duty to act. Right now, this war is illegal until Congress acts pursuant to the Constitution and authorizes it,” said Mr. Paul, a likely GOP presidential contender who has tried to shirk the label of “isolationist” some have foisted upon him.
The declaration would expire one year after it’s enacted and would restrict the use of ground troops to protect or rescue Americans from imminent danger posed by the group, also known as ISIS or ISIL, pursue limited operations against high targets, or as necessary “for advisory and intelligence gathering operations.”
The New York Times first reported on Mr. Paul’s plans.
The White House has said the campaign against the Islamic State is justified under a 2001 authorization of force passed in the wake of 9/11 and a 2002 authorization for Iraq, but President Obama has said he plans to seek a new one from Congress for the campaign against the group.
Mr. Paul’s framework would repeal the 2002 authorization and sunset the 2001 authorization after a year — a similar framework to one outlined by Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine of Virginia, though Mr. Kaine isn’t seeking a formal declaration of war or a rolling back of the 2001 authorization.