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Thursday, July 14, 2016

Administration: ISIS war funding amounts to authorization

Administration: ISIS war funding amounts to authorization

Congress’s funding of the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) amounts to a ratification of the president’s authority to pursue the war, the administration argues in a legal brief asking a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit that alleges the war is illegal.
“The president has determined that he has the authority to take military action against ISIL, and Congress has ratified that determination by appropriating billions of dollars in support of the military operation,” Benjamin Mizer, principal deputy assistant attorney general, and Anthony Coppolino, deputy branch director of the Justice Department’s civil division, write in the brief. ISIL is the administration's preferred acronym for the terrorist group.
“Congress has made these funds available over the course of two budget cycles, in connection with close oversight of the operation’s progress, and with knowledge of the authority under which the operation is being conducted,” they add.
The memo, filed Monday in court and highlighted Tuesday night by The New York Times, provides new insight into the administration’s justification for being allowed to prosecute the war.
Publicly, the administration has said past authorizations for the use of military force (AUMF) give it the power to deploy troops overseas to fight ISIS. Specifically, the administration points to the 2001 AUMF to fight al Qaeda, from which ISIS originated.
To a lesser extent, the administration has also cited the 2002 authorization for the Iraq War.
Still, President Obama has requested Congress pass a new AUMF to signal the United States’s commitment to fight against ISIS.

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