Rubio: Obama Has the Authority to Act Immediately on ISIL

September 11, 2014

Members of Congress who have been calling for combat operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) were justified last night with President Obama's remarks Wednesday evening.

While some have called for Congress to debate whether to authorize military action, Sen. Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) has been a vocal proponent that Obama is within his rights to strike ISIL in Syria and Iraq.

"First of all, I think the president has the authority to immediately act on this crisis that we're facing," Rubio said.

"I don't think that should slow him up, and I agree with the president that he has the authority right now, not just to conduct operations in Iraq, but in Syria. This is an emerging threat; this will be a long-term process we're going to have to address."

Rubio acknowledged the conflict with ISIL will be a long-term engagement and encouraged Obama to lay out his strategy for Congress.

"I think it's wise for them come to Congress to seek authorization. Number one, because we're stronger when we do it, in a way. Number two, in order to have the prolonged, sustained operation that it's going to require, it's important to get that congressional support. They're going to have to commit to it," Rubio said.

Obama's reference to replicating procedures in Yemen and Somalia with handling Iraq and Syria has given people pause since U.S. airstrikes in those regions have only destabilized the region and have not reached a sensible conclusion.