Obama to Congress: I Have Authority to Act Against ISIS

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President Barack Obama told Congressional leaders Tuesday that he has the authority to take military action against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, the terror group that have taken control of parts of both countries and executed two American journalists.

According to the White House, the president met with Congressional leaders on national security issues and said that he would welcome any actions Congress takes to help in the battle against the militant group, but he doesn't need their approval for action he will announce during a Wednesday address. The leaders did not tell Obama he needed its authorization for any actions to fight ISIS, and Obama did not ask for additional funding for the effort, sources told NBC News. The president also told Congress that he has made progress getting support for the new action from Arab countries in the region, the sources said.

Obama did ask the Congressional leaders for the authority to train the Syrian opposition, a senior administration official told NBC News. He did not get a commitment at the meeting, but House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican, said in a statement Tuesday the he supports "training and equipping the Syrian opposition." Boehner also called for deploying U.S. troops to help Iraqi forces combat the militant group.

U.S. Rep Nancy Pelosi, leader of the Democratic minority in the House, said Obama outlined his strategy against ISIS and that “We look forward to the President's address to the nation tomorrow evening as he further details the Administration's efforts to combat ISIS and advance our national security."

Obama will speak at 9 p.m. ET Wednesday from the State Floor of the White House.



— Christine Jansing and Kelly O'Donnell