White House Readies Recommendations On Use of Military Force For Congress


The White House is expected to seek congressional authorization within days for military operations against the Islamic State.  This could start a political fight that could see the administration clash with members of both parties over how much authority to give the president regarding the fight with ISIS.

Barack Obama is preparing to send “specific legislative language” for what is known as an authorization for the use of military force, or AUMF, that provides federal legal backing for overseas operations, according to sources.

The White House was working to transmit its recommendations to Congress as early as Friday, although that could change. White House officials have been speaking extensively with individual lawmakers in recent days about the AUMF, in part to build support for what they deliver to Congress, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Lawmakers said they want the White House to spell out what if any limitations are appropriate in the fight against Islamic State, including whether and how combat troops are used and whether there is a time limit on the fight.

Democrats and Republicans would have different reasons for limiting authorization. Democrats would wish limit the amount of bloodshed and the use of war in foreign policy:

“We need to learn lessons from prior authorizations, and one of them clearly is we can’t do open-ended, unending authorizations,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) said.

Republicans would like to limit any authority the president has, in all areas:

“It’s also going to be incumbent upon the president to go out there and make the case to the American people for why we have to fight this fight,” said John Boehner (R., Ohio), adding, “It’s not going to be an easy lift.”

Whatever the White House delivers to lawmakers is unlikely to forestall a political fight that could make moving an authorization through Congress difficult. House and Senate members, sensitive to war-weary voters and wary of providing an open-ended authorization, are expected to try to limit what the White House can do, a position more hawkish lawmakers are expected to oppose.

Israeli Official Suggests Boehner Misled Netanyahu On Speech To Congress

Speaker of the House Boehner listens as his fellow Republicans speak to the media after a conference meeting with House Republicans

Sources claim an Israeli official suggested Friday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been misled into thinking an invitation to address the U.S. Congress next month was fully supported by the Democrats.

Netanyahu was invited by the Republican speaker of the house, John Boehner, to address Congress on March 3, an invitation Boehner originally described as bipartisan.  The topic of his speech would supposedly be relations with Iran.

The move angered the White House, which is upset that the event comes two weeks before Israeli elections and that Netanyahu is expected to be critical of U.S. policy on Iran.  Most gatherings of this nature are organized between heads of state – not between a head of state and congress or parliament of another country.

“It appears that the speaker of Congress made a move, in which we trusted, but which it ultimately became clear was a one-sided move and not a move by both sides,” Deputy Israeli Foreign Minister Tzachi Hanegbi told 102 FM Tel Aviv Radio on Friday.

Hanegbi is a senior member of Netanyahu’s Likud party.

The interviewer asked if that meant Netanyahu had been “misled” into believing Boehner’s invitation was bipartisan, a characterization Hanegbi did not contest.

Hanegbi did not say Netanyahu would refuse the invitation.

Asked whether the prime minister should cancel or postpone the speech, Hanegbi said: “What would the outcome be then? The outcome would be that we forsake an arena in which there is a going to be a very dramatic decision (on Iran).”

There has been much criticism of Boehner by Democrats and repeated statements by Boehner and other Republicans explaining their position.

Top Democratic lawmaker Nancy Pelosi said on Thursday the event was “politicized” and she hoped it would not take place.  Also, the White House said it would not meet Netanyahu during the visit.

Netanyahu has denied seeking electoral gains or meddling in internal U.S. affairs with the speech, in which he is expected to warn world powers against agreeing to anything short of a total rollback of Iran’s nuclear program.

A Netanyahu spokesman declined to comment on Hanegbi’s comments on Friday.

Acknowledging that Democrats had been “pained” by the invitation, Hanegbi said Netanyahu and Israeli emissaries were making “a huge effort to make clear to them that this is not a move that flouts the president of the United States”.



Did The GOP Just Propose Obamacare To Replace Obamacare?

Secular Talk

According to PoliticusUSA, the Speaker of the House John Boehner and Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave an appearance on 60 Minutes, the lowlight of which was their complete inability to discuss the Republican alternative to Obamacare.

“Speaker Boehner went on a dodge and weave filibuster when asked what the Republican alternative to Obamacare was…”

GOP House Passes Bill Setting Up Possible Shutdown War Over Immigration


According to TPM, government shutdown wars are back with a vengeance.

House Republicans started up a possible new standoff on Wednesday with passage of legislation that overturns President Barack Obama’s executive actions on deportation relief for millions of undocumented immigrants.

The bill passed 236-191, with 10 Republicans voting against it and 2 Democrats supporting it.

The legislation passed on Wednesday is tied to the funding of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which expires on Feb. 28. According to TPM, the department will partially shut down if a bill isn’t enacted by then.

However, PoliticusUSA states that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) have toned down conservative expectations over the idea of a possible DHS shutdown.

Hardball: Jan. 6th Rough Day For The Republican Party

According to the host of MSNBC’s Hardball, it was a bad day for the Republican party as a top governor was sent to prison and 25 Republicans voted to dump John Boehner as House Speaker.

Chris Matthews discusses it with Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank and political commentator John Feehery.


Louie Gohmert

Texas Representative Louie Gohmert wants to run against John Boehner for Speaker of the House.

The right-wing Gohmert feels that Boehner has not challenged the president enough on immigration reform and healthcare. Never mind that Boehner will have a difficult time challenging an executive order on immigration and that under Boehner, the House has reportedly challenged the Obamacare legislation 51 times.

Secular Talk video.

Irresponsible Government Meltdown? 17 States To Sue Obama Over Immigration Executive Order

John Boehner

According to Reuters, Texas is leading a 17-state coalition that sued the Obama administration on Wednesday over its executive order to ease the threat of deportation for some 4.7 million undocumented immigrants, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott said.

“The President’s unilateral executive action tramples the U.S. Constitution’s Take Care Clause and federal law,” Abbott said in a statement.

(The Take Care Clause states that the President must exercise his law-execution power to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”)

The case filed at the Federal Court in the Southern District of Texas said the executive order was unlawful.

Abbott, a Republican and the Texas governor-elect added the order requires federal agencies “to award large benefits to individuals whose conduct contradicts the priorities of Congress.”

With 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, Obama’s plan would let some 4.4 million who are parents of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents to remain in the country temporarily, without the threat of deportation.

“The President is abdicating his responsibility to faithfully enforce laws that were duly enacted by Congress and attempting to rewrite immigration laws, which he has no authority to do,” Abbott said.

Several presidents have, of course, issued executive orders on immigration, including Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

Many of the states in the coalition are Republican strongholds and include Alabama, Idaho, Mississippi and Utah.

Meanwhile, in Washington this week, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner urged fellow Republicans to pass a long-term government spending bill next week, hoping to avoid a government shutdown and pushing any budget fight over Obama’s executive order on immigration into 2015.

Absurd Lawsuit?

House Republicans filed a long-threatened lawsuit Friday against the Obama administration over unilateral actions on the health care law that they say are abuses of the president’s executive authority.

They filed the lawsuit the day after the president’s immigration speech, seemingly as a type of retribution. Does the lawsuit have to do with immigration? No. It is related to Obamacare.

The host feels that the lawsuit does not have much substance because there is no victim. John Boehner and the House of Representatives should be able to show that they are a victim of the law. Also, the Administrative Procedure Act (of 1946) states that laws can be adjusted somewhat as long as they are eventually implemented.

Kyle Kulinski video.



House Republicans Move Forward To Sue President Obama Over Healthcare

Cathey Park of Cambridge, Massachusetts wears a cast for her broken wrist with ''I Love Obamacare'' written upon it prior to U.S. President Barack Obama's arrival to speak about health insurance at Faneuil Hall in Boston October 30, 2013.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Court documents state that one day after the President’s decision speech on immigration reform, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives filed a lawsuit challenging the implementation of Obama’s signature healthcare law over employer-based coverage and payments to insurers, apparently as retribution.

Jonathan Turley, the lead counsel for House Republicans, said in a Friday blog post that the president’s actions blurred the lines between branches of government and usurped the ability of Congress to use the “power of purse” during the appropriations process.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Friday filed the lawsuit challenging the implementation of President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law over employer-based coverage and payments to insurers, according to court documents.

Republican officials say the House can still—and very well might—sue Obama over his orders to protect as many as five million immigrants from deportation, but the fact that they chose Friday morning to file their healthcare lawsuit sent a message that they would follow through on their own threats of action.

The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Washington against the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Treasury, targets a decision to delay implementation of the law’s employer mandate, which requires employers with more than 50 employees to offer healthcare coverage.

House Speaker John Boehner, in a statement, said that Obama had bypassed Congress to take “unilateral actions” when implementing the healthcare law, named The Affordable Care Act, and also known as Obamacare.

House Appropriations Committee: Defunding Executive Actions On Immigration ‘Impossible’

US President Barack Obama at Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute's 37th Annual Awards Gala

According to The Hill, it would not be possible to defund President Obama’s executive actions on immigration through a government spending bill, the House Appropriations Committee said Thursday.

In a statement released by Committee Chairman Hal Rogers (R-Ky.) before Obama’s scheduled national address, the committee said the primary agency responsible for implementing Obama’s actions is funded entirely by user fees.

As a result, the committee said the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS) agency would be able to continue to collect fees and carry out its operations even if the government shut down.

“This agency is entirely self-funded through the fees it collects on various immigration applications,” the committee said in a statement. “Congress does not appropriate funds for any of its operations, including the issuance of immigration status or work permits, with the exception of the ‘E-Verify’ program. Therefore, the appropriations process cannot be used to ‘defund’ the agency.”