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Sep 16, 2014

U.S. Congress poised to approve aid to moderate Syrian rebels

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Congress appeared poised on Tuesday to quickly approve President Barack Obama’s plan to arm and train Syrian rebels, a major part of the effort he announced this week to fight Islamic State militants.

The House of Representatives began debating an amendment to a stopgap funding bill that would authorize support for the moderate rebels, who are fighting both the Islamic State and the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Sep 16, 2014

U.S. lawmakers move toward arming Syrian rebels, with conditions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives will begin debating legislation on Tuesday to give President Barack Obama approval for arming and training rebels who oppose both Islamic State militants and Syria’s government.

Republican lawmakers unveiled a measure, written with input from the White House, that would quickly provide the authority – but not the funding – that Obama wants to equip and train the moderate Syrian rebels.

Sep 12, 2014

Top Republicans back Obama’s plan to fight Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Republican leader of the U.S. House of Representatives voiced support on Thursday for President Barack Obama’s expanded campaign against Islamic State militants, but members of his party questioned whether the plan was forceful enough.

Obama sent a panel of top administration officials to make the case to Congress for broadening operations against the Sunni militants, including U.S. air strikes in Syria for the first time, more strikes in Iraq and more military advisers in Iraq.

Sep 11, 2014

Lawmakers back Obama’s fight against Islamic State, but vote uncertain

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers pledged support on Thursday for President Barack Obama’s plan to expand the military fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, but fears of an open-ended conflict and questions about how to pay for it could complicate any vote on the effort.

Obama sent a panel of top administration officials to the Capitol to make the case to the U.S. Congress for broadening operations against the group, including U.S. air strikes in Syria for the first time and more military advisers in Iraq.

Sep 11, 2014

U.S. lawmakers embrace fight against Islamic State, some question Obama plan

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers say they are on the verge of taking a “war vote” as they consider whether to back President Barack Obama’s campaign to destroy Islamic State, and despite broad support for action many fear being drawn into a quagmire.

The White House wants Congress to approve $500 million to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels to battle Islamic State militants, a show of confidence for administration officials as they try to form an international coalition.

Sep 9, 2014

U.S. House formally condemns Obama for Guantanamo prisoner swap

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to condemn President Barack Obama for failing to give Congress a 30-day notice before exchanging prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl for five members of the Taliban who were being held at the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

The House voted 249 to 163, with 22 Democrats joining the Republican majority in favor of the resolution.

Sep 9, 2014

Release of U.S. Senate CIA ‘torture’ report still on hold

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The public release of a long-awaited U.S. Senate report detailing the CIA’s use of harsh interrogation techniques could be held up for weeks as the Senate Intelligence Committee and Obama administration negotiate what material can be included in the document, the committee’s chairwoman said on Monday.

The committee had hoped to release its 600-page summary of the report on the Central Intelligence Agency’s use of tactics many label as “torture” before Congress left for its August recess, a target that was pushed to September as discussions continued.

Sep 8, 2014

U.S. Congress seen approving funds if needed for Islamic State campaign

WASHINGTON, Sept 8 (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama
is expected to pursue a military campaign against Islamic State
without seeking special congressional authority now but
lawmakers said on Monday they would probably approve any request
he made for extra funding.

They said there was widespread support in Congress for
attacks to stop the advance of the Sunni Islamist militant
group, especially after the videotaped beheading of two American
journalists by the Islamist group in the last three weeks.

Sep 5, 2014

Senator seeks to strip U.S. citizenship from Islamic State recruits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A U.S. senator said Friday that Americans who join, support or fight with Islamic State should lose their U.S. citizenship, and said he would introduce legislation to bar anyone who does so from returning to the country.

Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican and conservative firebrand who is seen as a likely 2016 presidential contender,- said he would introduce his “Expatriate Terrorist Act” on Monday, the first day Congress is back from its five-week August recess.

Sep 5, 2014

Top Senate Republican: Obama needs ‘credible plan’ on Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top Senate Republican said on Thursday President Barack Obama can expect bipartisan support in Congress if he offers a “credible plan” to go after Islamic State militants, as senior U.S. officials prepare to brief lawmakers on the matter.

Some lawmakers contend that Obama should seek congressional authorization for airstrikes in Iraq against the Sunni militants. However, it is not clear whether such a vote would take place this month or whether he needs Congress to approve the limited actions already under way.

    • About Patricia

      "Patricia Zengerle covers foreign policy and national security on Capitol Hill for Reuters. She recently covered the 2012 campaign and the White House and had been an editor in Washington, D.C., an editor in London, and a correspondent in Miami, Pittsburgh and New York. You can follow her on Twitter @ReutersZengerle"
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