Cole Statement on President’s Plan to Combat ISIL
Washington, D.C. – Congressman Tom Cole (OK-04) released the following statement after President Barack Obama addressed the nation about his plan for addressing the growing threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The Sunni Islamist terrorist organization poses a threat far beyond the region in which it currently operates in Iraq and Syria, ultimately seeking to claim and use territory for building an Islamic caliphate.
“Like most Americans, I have no doubt that ISIL represents a clear and present danger to the United States and our friends and allies,” said Cole. “Certainly, I will vote to give the president any authority and resources he needs to confront this urgent national security risk. However, the president must be certain and decisive in his leadership.
“While the president claims the authority to take this action without further approval from Congress, there is little doubt that a unified strategy involving both the legislative and executive branches of our government would be a far preferable approach. The president would be well advised to seek Congressional authorization for these actions as well as for the resources necessary to carry them out. I have no doubt that such authorization would be overwhelmingly supported by both houses of Congress and on both sides of the aisle. Americans, our friends and our enemies need to see the president and Congress united in their determination to destroy this very dangerous foe.
“In the days ahead, I am certain that Congress will work with the president in a bipartisan manner to preserve our safety, security and freedom. But the president must remember that success in war requires decisive executive leadership.
“At home and abroad, there should be no doubt that the United States is engaged and committed to ISIL’s destruction. Until that task is completed, the president should not rule out any options or tactics for achieving this objective. Instead, acting with the support of Congress, he should keep the full array of military tools at his disposal. This would strengthen his support at home, reassure our friends abroad and clearly warn our enemies that they face a united America. Unless the president works with Congress to marshal the full strength of the nation, America will find itself fighting a deadly enemy with one arm tied behind its back,” concluded Cole.
Contact: Sarah Corley (202) 225-6165