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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.

Sep 4, 2014

Obama administration sets briefings for Congress on Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration is dispatching senior intelligence officials and Secretary of State John Kerry to brief members of Congress and staff about the Islamic State militant group in the coming weeks, congressional aides said on Thursday.

Kerry will testify to members of the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee during the week of Sept. 15, an aide said.

Aug 29, 2014

Obama faces a tough sell in Congress for Islamic State strategy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to consult Congress about any expanded military action against Islamic State militants operating in Iraq and Syria, but support from the divided legislature is unlikely to come quickly – if at all.

Republicans are generally reluctant to vote for Obama’s policy initiatives. And many of the president’s fellow Democrats are deeply wary of any more foreign military involvement after over a decade of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Aug 29, 2014

Obama says does not yet have military strategy for Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday the United States has not yet developed a strategy for confronting Islamic State in Syria, an acknowledgement that a decision had not been made on whether to launch air strikes against the militant group.

Obama’s comment during a White House news conference before a meeting of national security advisers about how to proceed against Islamic State drew criticism from Republicans and a clarification from White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

Aug 28, 2014

Obama says does not yet have broad strategy for Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Thursday that he has not yet developed a broad strategy for confronting Islamic State in an acknowledgement that he has not decided whether to launch air strikes against the militant group in Syria.

“We don’t have a strategy yet,” Obama told a White House news conference ahead of meeting top national security advisers in the Situation Room about how to proceed against Islamic State.

    • 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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