Rep. Tom Cole, Oklahoma Republican, said Thursday that the president should call Congress back to Washington to vote on a new authorization for military force against the Islamic State in Syria.
“I think the president frankly should call us back,” he said on MSNBC. “So far while the administration has said we welcome congressional support, they haven’t done much to seek it.”
Mr. Cole said he appreciated the vote on training and arming the Free Syrian Army but that the U.S. is “obviously engaged in a war inside Syria” — something he said the Congress must debate and vote on.
“I think coming back, making a clear statement and authorizing it, reclaiming the war powers of the Congress, those are all good things,” he said.
Mr. Cole said he certainly would cut his month-and-a-half vacation short to return to D.C. and vote.
While Mr. Cole placed the ball in President Obama’s court, saying he should recall Congress, Rep. Gregory Meeks, New York Democrat, said it’s the Republicans who let lawmakers go home in the first place. Mr. Meeks said Democrats expected to spend another week in Washington, but that Speaker John A. Boehner told everyone to go home.
“It’s the prerogative of those who are in the majority to do that,” he said. “But the Democrats and Nancy Pelosi said all along we should have never left.”