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Senate Foreign Relations Committee advances Congressional authorization to confront ISIS

(Washington, DC) – Today in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) voted in favor of a new Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) to confront the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The carefully tailored AUMF is a three-year authorization against ISIS and associated forces and prohibits the use of ground troops except in limited, defined circumstances. The committee legislation also repeals the 2002 Iraq AUMF and sets a three-year sunset on the 2001 Global War on Terror AUMF unless the 2001 Act is reauthorized.

“Congressional authorization for the use of military force is critical to strengthening our fight against ISIS and informing the American people of the range of our military operations,” Shaheen said. “The legislation I voted for today is targeted in scope and does not authorize combat troops, yet protects our national security interests by allowing for an ongoing military strategy to destroy ISIS.

“Congress has a fundamental responsibility to debate and vote on an authorization in a timely and transparent fashion. The measure we advanced today creates the necessary framework for the long-term fight to destroy ISIS, and moving ahead with an authorization at this time was the best way forward.”

Earlier this week, Shaheen questioned Secretary of State John Kerry on the Administration’s strategy and efforts to confront ISIS including the ability of the United States to expedite and expand the delivery of training and assistance to moderate Syrian opposition groups. Earlier this year, Shaheen voted in favor of legislation to train and equip moderate and vetted Syrian rebels. She also reiterated her support for international collaboration with U.S. allies to cut off flows of funding and foreign fighters to ISIS.  Shaheen 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.