Republican duo asks Congress to declare war in fight against Isis

Harriet Sinclair

Two Republicans are calling on Congress to authorise the use of military force as part of the fight against Isis.

Identical bills have been introduced in the House and the Senate by Republican representative Jim Banks and Senator Todd Young that aim to produce authorisation for war against the extremist group.

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In a statement seen by The Hill, Banks said: "Our constituents send us to Congress to represent their views, and they should have their voices heard as we consider more military action in the fight against ISIS.

"The Constitution grants Congress the power of declaring war, and we need to take that obligation seriously."

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The bills come as President Donald Trump's administration mulls over how best to move forward operations against the terror group – with Trump looking to fulfil his longstanding campaign promise to "beat Isis".

There is some disagreement over whether or not the authorisation for the use of military force (AUMF) issued after the 9/11 attacks can be used as legal justification for a war against Isis, with concerns that the terror group would not be included in that remit because it did not exist in 2001.

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However, the new bills, if passed, would issue a new AUMF and, their supporters believe, demonstrate to US troops abroad that they have the support of Congress - although former president Barack Obama's request for a new AUMF came to nothing when he asked for it in 2015.

"Our troops are bravely fighting overseas to keep us safe, and it is important for them and their families to know that Congress stands with them," Young added, in a statement seen by the news outlet.

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