President Barack Obama told top congressional leaders Tuesday that he has the executive authority to attack Islamist militants in Iraq and Syria but would welcome congressional support for his strategy, ahead of a national address Wednesday night during which he’s expected to announce more details of that strategy than he has to date.
“[President Obama] reiterated his belief that the nation is stronger and our efforts more effective when the President and Congress work together to combat a national security threat like ISIL,” the White House said in a statement, using ISIL to refer to the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria, also called ISIS.
House Speaker John Boehner told the President that he would support sending over U.S. military forces in both combat and non-combat roles, including to Syria, and training and equipping the Syrian opposition, Boehner’s office said in a statement. “The Speaker stated he would support the President if he chose to deploy the military to help train and play an advisory role for the Iraqi Security Forces and assist with lethal targeting of ISIL leadership.”
While some congressmen have introduced bills to authorize the President to act against ISIS, congressional leaders have been hesitant to schedule such a significant vote in an election-year.