Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul says he plans to introduce a resolution in Congress next month that would formally declare war against the Islamic State, also known as ISIS.
“When Congress comes back into session in December, I will introduce a resolution to declare war against ISIS,” Paul said in a statement released by his office Monday.
“I believe the President must come to Congress to begin a war and that Congress has a duty to act,” the Republican said. “Right now, this war is illegal until Congress acts pursuant to the Constitution and authorizes it.”
The text of the resolution, provided by his office, points out that Article I, section 8 of the Constitution gives Congress the power to declare war. The resolution cites quotations by George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.
The text says ISIS “presents a clear and present danger to United States diplomatic facilities in the region, including our embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.”
Viewed politically, Paul’s resolution allows him to appeal to libertarian conservatives who argue Obama is overseeing an illegal war. It’s also a way for Paul, a likely candidate for president in 2016, to rebut the more hawkish members of his party who accuse him of being an isolationist.
Congress has not declared war since World War II.