February 2015: President Obama requested authorization from Congress

(Read the President’s letter to Congress.)

By April, House GOP leaders said that there was “no path to 218 votes” on the President’s plan.

In May, then-Speaker John Boehner criticized the President’s approach:

“The president’s request for an authorization of the use of military force calls for less authority than he has today… This is why the president, frankly, should withdraw the authorization of use of military force and start over.”


Without a formal authorization, the Obama Administration “relied on past authorizations for the use of military force (AUMFs) against al-Qaeda in 2001 and in Iraq in 2002 as the legal justification for the current campaign against the terrorist organization operating mostly in Iraq and Syria.” (RCP)


Several Members of Congress have introduced versions of authorization resolutions, including: