January 22, 2016
Bill gives Obama power to deploy military anywhere – including on U.S. soil
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is attempting to fast track a “war powers” bill that will allow President Obama nearly unlimited power to deploy the military anywhere in the world for any length of time – including on U.S. soil.
“The Authorization for Use of Military Force put forward by McConnell would not restrict the president’s use of ground troops, nor have any limits related to time or geography,” Defense One reported.
In other words, the authorization allows the president to deploy the military anywhere at his discretion – both foreign and domestic – for as long as he wants.
Several senators, including Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn, were surprised by McConnell’s decision to fast-track the bill after a year of deep in-fighting over similar measures in the Senate.
“He did?” he asked the National Journal on Thursday morning when reporters informed him about the bill.
Even some Senate Democrats have an issue with a new authorization without geographical restrictions placed on the president.
“I’m for the Congress voting on an AUMF; of course it depends what the AUMF looks like,” Sen. Robert Menendez said Thursday. “I don’t want a blank check.”
It’s also interesting to note McConnell is trying to push through the bill on a Friday as an unprecedented blizzard slams the northeast U.S., including Washington, D.C.