SHAHEEN QUESTIONS TOP MILITARY OFFICIALS, SECRETARY OF STATE ON AUTHORIZATION OF MILITARY FORCE AGAINST ISIS

At Senate Foreign Relations hearing, Shaheen stresses necessity of tailored, bipartisan authorization

March 11, 2015

(Washington, DC) – This morning at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) questioned top military and Administration officials on the President’s request for an Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Shaheen, who supported a December authorization, called on Secretary of State John Kerry, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey to assure the use of a limited and defined AUMF while reiterating the importance that the Administration look to Congress to arrive at an appropriately tailored and bipartisan authorization.

“Setting a strategy to best respond to and ultimately destroy ISIS requires thorough, open and thoughtful debate,” Shaheen said. “While the Administration’s decision to pursue a congressionally approved AUMF was long overdue, I hope the Administration will continue working with Congress to pass a new, appropriately tailored authorization for this conflict.”

Shaheen continued, “The murders of American citizens like New Hampshire’s Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff and so many others at the hands of ISIS make this debate all the more urgent. A new AUMF will establish the necessary framework we need to confront and eliminate these violent extremists, and I hope we can continue a robust debate on the Administration’s proposal on behalf of the American people.”

Shaheen has consistently advocated for a comprehensive strategy to confront and destroy ISIS while calling on the President to seek Congressional approval for an AUMF. Last year, Shaheen voted in favor of legislation to train and equip moderate and vetted Syrian rebels and has called on Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew and Secretary of State John Kerry to “do everything in [their] power” to disrupt and stop of the flow of money and foreign fighters to ISIS.