Rand Paul Wants Senate Vote On Declaring War on ISIS

WASHINGTON (CQ Roll Call/TNS) -

Sen. Rand Paul has upped the ante in the debate over the role of Congress in the fight against the Islamic State.

The Kentucky Republican announced Monday he would be introducing a resolution to formally declare war against the terrorist group in Syria and Iraq, setting up the possibility of a contentious vote as part of a potential use of force authorization debate next year.

Paul’s joint resolution would provide for the first declared war since World War II.

Of course, it is Paul’s senior Kentucky colleague, Sen. Mitch McConnell, who will assume the title of majority leader next year. McConnell has also pledged a more open Senate chamber in the new Congress, meaning it is more likely such a vote could be required as part of any force debate.

“When Congress comes back into session in December, I will introduce a resolution to declare war against ISIS. I believe the President must come to Congress to begin a war and that Congress has a duty to act,” Paul said in a statement. “Right now, this war is illegal until Congress acts pursuant to the Constitution and authorizes it.”