Here’s a surprising twist — House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is criticizing Speaker John Boehner because he’s not being tough enough on President Obama. You read that right — Pelosi (D-CA) is accusing Boehner (R-OH) of not doing enough to hold Obama’s feet to the fire over congressional authorization for stepped-up military action against the Islamic State.
Despite bipartisan calls for the president to bring a fresh request for approval of military strikes to Capitol Hill — as many argue the Constitution requires — Obama has proceeded without a new congressional okay. He claims he already has the necessary green light under existing authority previously granted by Congress.
Pelosi, who rarely passes up an opportunity to score political points by dropping the hammer on Republicans, is now saying that Boehner is not doing what he should. Via Stars and Stripes:
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi called on Speaker John Boehner to initiate a debate in Congress over granting President Barack Obama a new authorization to use military force to defeat Islamic militants.
“Everybody in the country’s talking about it except for us,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said during a breakfast with Bloomberg News reporters and editors Monday in New York.
“Since when do we sit around waiting, using the excuse he didn’t ask?” Pelosi said, referring to the president. “No, if you want to have an authorization that has any constraints on the president, you don’t wait for him to write it.”
Boehner said on Sunday that he’s willing to call Congress back into session to consider a White House request for a new authorization for military action, but that the president hasn’t yet requested one.
Democrats led by Pelosi strongly oppose using U.S. ground troops to fight Islamic State, and a number of Democrats voted against this month’s train-and-equip provision. Many Republicans, particularly in the House, want a more robust response including possible ground forces.
Obama has repeatedly promised no American “boots on the ground” in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. But the president’s pledge has been questioned even by his own military advisors and commanders.
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The White House has been reeling over the last couple of days from pointed criticism of President Obama’s blaming of the intelligence community for allegedly failing to warn him about the rise of ISIS.