- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 7, 2014

Rep. Peter King said Sunday it would benefit President Obama to get Congress on board with strikes against the Islamic State, but that he shouldn’t waste time doing so if he wants to take immediate action.

“If that’s going to delay what he wants to do, he should go ahead and take action without waiting for Congress,” the New York Republican said on ABC’s “This Week” program. “This is too important to get bogged down in congressional debate if he doesn’t believe he has the support.”

Mr. King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee’s subommittee on counterterrorism and intelligence, said that as commander in chief Mr. Obama has absolute authority to defend the homeland against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL.

Rep. Adam Smith, Washington Democrat, said America will fail to defeat Islamic State without support from countries and groups in the Middle East.

“We need to find partners in the region, like the Kurds, like the Iraqis, like the Free Syria Movement, who will lead the fight,” he said. “We will not be successful against ISIS unless Sunnis in the region are willing to rise up against them.”

Mr. King warned to not just focus on the Islamic State threat as the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks approaches, especially if al Qaeda wants to knock the Islamic State out of the headlines and assert its dominance as the top terrorist group in the region.

“We certainly have to be more vigilant than ever, especially with al Qaeda. ISIS has made a lot of news, been in a lot of headlines, I could see al Qaeda wanting to get back in the game,” he said. “I think we can’t just focus on ISIS.”

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