White House: Obama can intervene in Syria without congressional approval

White House: Obama can intervene in Syria without congressional approval
(Image credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Although President Obama has yet to decide on a course of action in dealing with ISIS' advance into Syria, one thing seems clear: He doesn't think he needs to seek congressional approval, said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Monday. Instead, Congress may be given a "consulting" role.

When Obama was considering military intervention in Syria in 2013, he did subject his plans to congressional vote. However, he stated at the time that he was doing so because "America acts more effectively abroad when we stand together," not because of any legal requirement.

This laissez-faire attitude toward congressional authority stands in marked contrast to Obama's critique of executive overreach during his 2008 campaign:

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"The biggest problems that we're facing right now have to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all, and that's what I intend to reverse when I'm president of the United States of America," Obama said. It appears that a lot can change in six years.

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