Speed Reads


Rand Paul wants Congress to declare war on ISIS, a first since 1941

Congress is debating what to do about the Islamic State and President Obama's military campaign against the Islamist militant group. Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) tells The New York Times that he will introduce a formal declaration of war against ISIS — which would be the first time Congress has used its constitutional power to declare actual war since World War II. "War cannot be initiated without Congress," he said.

Paul's measure would rescind the 2002 resolution sought and used by President George W. Bush to invade Iraq and, after a year, the 2001 authorization for military use against al Qaeda — the two laws Obama is relying on to attack ISIS. It would also allow U.S. troops to attack ISIS under limited circumstances. The war declaration very likely will go nowhere, and it will probably face more resistance from Republicans than Democrats; Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) has a similar proposal, sans the declaration of war and repeal of the 2001 law.

Paul says his fellow Republicans have to be more consistent about their criticism of Obama's use of executive authority: "Conservatives are mad at him about immigration. And they're mad about him using executive authority on ObamaCare," Paul told The Times. "But this is another example where he doesn't have much respect for Congress, and some conservatives don't quite get that."