For John, BLUF: It is time for Congress to reclaim its Constitutional Powers. Nothing to see here; just move along.
The US Constitution gives the power to the US Congress to declare war. Short of war we have the US Congress providing an AUMF, an Authorization for Use of Military Force.♠ The Congress is working up an AUMF for dealing with ISIL. The Administration feels the proposed AUMF is too restrictive. From The National Interest, Reporter Alex Brown gives us "Senators to Kerry: Tell Us What You Want to Fight ISIS". The subheadline is "The Administration criticizes Senate proposals to authorize force, but won't offer a plan of its own."
Here is an extract of the discussion.
[Secretary of State John] Kerry testified at a hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee—which he used to chair—telling members that an Authorization for Use of Military Force should include no restrictions against the use of ground troops and should not limit operations to Iraq and Syria, as the plan proposed by committee Chairman Robert Menendez does. Though the White House does not intend to violate either of those confines, the restrictions would "preemptively bind the hands of the commander in chief" if unforeseen circumstances arose, Kerry said.I like the words of Senator Menendez. What does the President as Commander in Chief want in terms of authority to go after ISIL? To say nothing and to then carp over what the US Congress proposes is childish. And, Chairman Menendez is a fellow Democrat. It is right and proper for the US Congress to place limits on the use of US Military Force. If circumstances change the President can come back to the US Congress and ask for an amendment to the AUMF quickly.
"Had the administration sent us an AUMF, maybe we would have been better versed as to what the administration seeks or does not seek," Menendez responded.
This is the Administration picking a fight with the US Congress. Unnecessarily.
Regards — Cliff
♠ Wikipedia lists three AUMFs, including Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists.