President Obama to Ask Congress to Authorize Military Force Against ISIS as Jordan Launches New Airstrikes

( [email protected] ) Feb 06, 2015 06:09 PM EST
Airstrikes against ISIS
Heavy smoke rises following an airstrike by the US-led coalition aircraft in Kobani, Syria. Gokhan Sahin/Getty Images

U.S. President Barack Obama will ask Congress for authority to use military force against Islamic State fighters next week as Jordan launches new airstrikes against the terrorist group in retaliation for the brutal murder of a Jordanian pilot. 

On Thursday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the President will send "specific language" of an Authorization for the Use of Military Force to Congress "relatively soon."

"The president believes it sends a very powerful signal to the American people, to our allies, and even to our enemies, that the United States of America is united behind this strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL," Earnest said, according to the Washington Times.

Additionally, US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner told reporters he expects Obama to seek congressional authorization for using military force against Islamic State at any time.

"I'm expecting that there will be an authorization for the use of military force sent up here in the coming days. And we're going to go through a rigorous set of hearings and continue to discuss it," Boehner said.

"It is also going to be incumbent upon the president to go out there and make the case to the American people," he added, "This is not going to be an easy lift."

Congressional aides said lawmakers had been told they would receive the White House request next week.

The President's decision to seek permission to use military force comes after Islamic state militants released a horrifying video of the murder of a Jordanian Air Force pilot, Lt. Muath al-Kaseasbeh, by burning him alive in a cage.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi  said on Thursday that the U.S. should "move quickly" to provide military aid to Jordan, which launched a series of new airstrikes against ISIS militants in Syria.

"Planes from the Jordanian Royal Forces have just arrived from Raqqa now after bombarding and pounding them," the pilot's father, Safi al-Kassasbeh said after he was given the information by Jordan's King Abdullah II.

"God willing we will end their existence in Syria. We ask God to help us annihilate them."

Pelosi added that she expects a compromise on the outstanding issues to be reached and added that she hopes Congress will repeal the 2002 congressional authorization for the war in Iraq while retaining the 2001 authorization for military action in Afghanistan, according to Fox News.

"I'm not saying anybody's come to an agreement on it," Pelosi said. "I think it's going to be a challenge, but we will have it."

Last year, the President came under fire after going forward with airstrikes in Iraq and Syria without Congress, instead relying on congressional authorizations that President George W. Bush used to justify military action in response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

"[The effort was] necessary to protect our peole," President Obama said in September, adding that the airstrikes had "helped Iraqi forces begin to push back these terrorists."

"We have to meet today's evolving terrorist threat," he added.