In a recent interview with National Public Radio , Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said he believes President Barack Obama has the “authority” to take military action in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Levant (ISIL) WITHOUT Congressional approval.
At the conclusion of the interview on Sept. 11, Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep said he wanted to ask the senator two questions.
“Number one, does the president already have, as he says, the authorization that he needs to order air strikes in Syria? And number two, will Congress be able to support anything he asked for as far as supporting Syrian rebels?” Inskeep asked.
“Well, on the first point I believe he does have authority as commander-in-chief to deal with this emergent crisis,” Rubio said. “I think because it’s going to be a long-term conflict it is wise, I think, for him to try to rally congressional support on a bipartisan basis, but he doesn’t need that tomorrow to expand and continue this operation.
Rubio also said he had “hope” that Congress would fund those military operations, a request Obama wants added to the Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government through the end of the year.
“The second point on the funding is I hope so,” Rubio said. “I think it is critically important that we do fund and train and equip moderate rebel elements.
“Now, what I think the administration has to do is clearly explain to us how these elements are going to be vetted and what the plan is going to look like,” Rubio said. “We’re not going to just write a blank check, but I do hope that we will support that because I think it’s a critical component of success in this endeavor.”