Sen. Chris Murphy Decries Fast-Track Military Authorization Bill

By:  Denaya Christopherson

Senator Chris Murphy spoke out on the Senate floor on Thursday against a Republican resolution that would fast-track authorization of military force in the war against ISIS.

The resolution was introduced by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has said he does not want to tie the hands of the next president.

This comes as a surprise to some, as McConnell said in December that there would not be a debate on a new Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) during the beginning of 2016.

McConnell has previously criticized President Barack Obama’s proposed AUMF on the grounds that it limits the president’s actions too extensively.

In an attempt to move the AUMF debate forward, Murphy introduced a number of concerns about the resolution.

Murphy said the resolution would give the president wide-ranging authority to send troops to any country where the threat of ISIS exists, without say from Congress.

“It doesn't give the power to the president to deploy U.S. troops in Iraq and Syria,” said Murphy. “It gives the power to the president without consulting Congress to deploy U.S. forces in any one of the 60-plus countries where ISIS has a single sympathizer.”

Murphy called the resolution “dangerous” and “unprecedented.” Americans want a war against ISIS, said Murphy, but they also want Congress to be involved in these decisions.

Murphy also indicated that a debate on the AUMF is long overdue. "Many of us think that a smart AUMF would get Congress back in the game when it comes to our constitutional responsibility to decide when and where our brave troops are sent into battle," said Murphy.