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US Congressman Slams House for Rejecting Vote to Authorize War on ISIL

© REUTERS / U.S. Air Force/Senior Airman Matthew Bruch/HandoutUS Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles conduct airstrikes in Syria and Iraq
US Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles conduct airstrikes in Syria and Iraq - Sputnik International
The US House of Representatives acted irresponsibly by defeating an amendment to officially authorize the US war against the Islamic State on Thursday, Congressman Adam Schiff said.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Adam Schiff, the amendment’s sponsor, said in a press release:

"Ten months into an undeclared war against ISIS [Islamic State], Congress yet again dodged its responsibility to authorize the use of force."

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Schiff, the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, introduced the amendment to force the US Congress to debate a new authorization for use of military force (AUMF) by March 31, 2016.

No funds would be expended for the war against the Islamic State after March 31 unless the Congress passed a new AUMF, according to the bill.

The Schiff amendment was defeated in a vote of 231 to 196.

The failure by the Congress to vote on a new AUMF is “an abdication” of their responsibility to declare war, Schiff stated.

He argued that not allowing the vote on new war powers “sets a terrible precedent and shifts war-making powers substantially and inexorably towards the Executive.”

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Under the US Constitution, the Congress is given the sole authority to declare war.

US President Barack Obama has stated that he would prefer a congressional authorization for the war on the Islamic State, but he has the jurisdiction to continue the fight under AUMFs from 2001 and 2003.

The White House sent a draft AUMF to the US House and Senate in February 2015. Both houses of Congress have failed to approve or vote on a final authorization.

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