Two anti-war members of Congress consider supporting expanded military action
Rep. Barbara Lee said she is waiting to hear the President's plan against ISIS
Rep. Walter Jones said his support "depends" on what the President says
A third member says he's "very uneasy" about the prospect of an expanding war
Three of the key anti-war members of Congress are considering supporting expanded military action against ISIS – but the key word there is “considering.”
Rep. Barbara Lee said she “can’t say” if she’d oppose expanded military operations.
The California Democrat was the only member of Congress to vote against giving President George W. Bush – and subsequent presidents that would follow him – nearly unlimited authority to wage war just days after the September 11 terror attacks.
This time around, she said there’s “no question” that ISIS needs to be stopped, but she’s waiting to hear President Barack Obama’s plan, which he’s expected to unveil in an address Wednesday night.
To get her support, Obama has to outline a plan that is “strategic, targeted and limited,” Lee told CNN.
Republican Walter Jones of North Carolina, who said he will go to his grave apologizing for his vote for war in 2002, couldn’t commit his support – or opposition – to an expanded military operation either.
“I’ve always regretted that vote,” he told CNN of his vote that authorized U.S. intervention in Iraq. “I think here we go again.”
Jones said it “depends” on what the President says. “I’m opposed to spending money without a debate and a strategy.”
Rounding out the vocal antiwar trio, Massachusetts Democrat James McGovern, said he’s “very uneasy” about the prospect of expanded war but stopped short of opposing it. He said he has “a million questions” about potential action in Syria, the role of regional partners and the cost to U.S. coffers.
“I’m going to need more than a presidential speech and more than one briefing … to make sure we know what we’re doing,” McGovern said.
One thing these doves are insistent on, however, is that Congress be held accountable to their constituents and debate and vote on any proposal. They wrote a letter to House Speaker John Boehner in late August outlining such demands.
Despite a resolution passed in July by 370 members – 180 Republicans and 190 Democrats – that says the President “shall not deploy or maintain … a sustained combat role in Iraq without specific statutory authorization,” Congressional leaders have not yet determined if they will force Congressional authorization – less than two months before the midterm elections.