US lawmakers set last-ditch push for Islamic State war authorization

December 4, 2014 21:39

Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee made a last-ditch push on Thursday to vote on an authorization for the use of military force against Islamic State before they hand full control of Congress over to Republicans next month.

As debate intensified in the House of Representatives and Senate over the campaign against the militant Islamist group in Iraq and Syria, Democrats launched a plan to attach a formal authorization for the use of military force as an amendment to a water bill the panel considered - and passed - on Thursday.

Republicans vehemently objected, accusing Democrats of forcing a politically motivated vote in order to get on the record as objecting to sending any US troops - "boots on the ground" - to battle Islamic State.

During two hours of heated discussion, the committee's Democratic chairman, Senator Robert Menendez, said members had reached an agreement to hold hearings with an eye toward voting on an authorization next week.

He said Secretary of State John Kerry - or another top official from President Barack Obama's administration - would testify at a hearing on the issue on Monday.

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