December 3, 2014 / by emptywheel


Obama Uninterested in Lame Duck AUMF

Bob Menendez seems surprised that the President is not rushing witnesses to his Committee so it can get to work on revising and cleaning up AUMFs.

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the White House was being uncooperative by not sending over an official who could testify on what kind of a measure they would want.

“The administration is not producing witnesses, which makes such an important issue very difficult to formulate,” said Menendez, whose committee would be responsible for working on an authorization for use of military force (AUMF) bill.  

“You would think that they would want to work with us, so that we can fashion an AUMF that would give the president the wherewithal to fight ISIL successfully but by the same token, tailor it enough so we don’t end up in an open-ended conflict as we have seen under the 2001 AUMF,” Menendez said, using an alternate name for the terrorist group.

Not me. It looks more and more like my initial guess was correct: that Obama will wait for the Republicans who will “force” him to accept a far broader AUMF, one that will both interpret executive authority broadly, but also one that will place the blame for escalation on the GOP.

Obama sure looks to be making the most of losing the Senate.

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