White House hopes for quick approval of new powers against ISIL

President could submit request to Congress as early as this week

President could submit request to Congress as early as this week

WASHINGTON - The White House on Tuesday said it hopes Congress will move quickly on a new military force authorization against ISIL, expected to be soon submitted by President Barack Obama.

"We are hopeful that Congress will act on authorization to use military force relatively soon," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday, noting that new authorization will be a "powerful symbol" from Congress to "allies and enemies" that the U.S. is behind the strategy to destroy ISIL.

“Hopefully, there will not be a significant delay in Congress acting on that legislative language," he said.

Since bombing began against the terror group last August, Obama has claimed authority to use force under the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force, or AUMF, used by former President George W. Bush following the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks to justify military action against al-Qaeda militants.

But the Obama administration have argued that the fight against ISIL requires new authorization. "I call on this Congress to show the world that we are united in this mission by passing a resolution to authorize the use of force against ISIL," Obama said in his State of the Union address earlier this year. 

The push for new authorization comes as the U.S. confirmed Tuesday the death of 26-year-old American aid worker Kayla Mueller who had been held hostage by ISIL.

Earnest said the new authorization will be more powerful "if it has bipartisan support" in Congress.

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