February 16, 2015

Desert Musings:

The country came together when asked to do so. Slowly, over a four-year period, we took a congress run by Democrats, and turned it into a congress run by Republicans. Why? The Democrats had too much power, and they proved themselves to be inept at managing compromise. Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi were not leaders. They were more like Hitler-like dictators. They did what they wanted, and they didn’t want to hear any complaints for anybody. If they heard such complaints, those members were shunned until the next election when they could be replaced.

Well, now it’s the Republicans turn. And from where I sit, I don’t think we’ve gone a whole lot better. At least not yet. Granted, it’s only been six weeks, but I’m not impressed with what I’ve seen.

We’ve seen them take six weeks to get the Keystone XL Pipeline through, and they finally have, and it’s going to get shot down for a veto. The house has passed another attempted at getting rid of Obamacare, which is really stupid because when you think about it, there aren’t the votes in the Senate to pass it with 60, and there isn’t a veto-proof majority in either chamber. You know Obama is going to veto something that destroys his key legislation. So it’s going nowhere. It was a waste of time.



Now we’ve got two other things that are on the burner, trying to get passed. One is going to face a tough time in the senate, the other faces a tough time because Obama initiated it.

The first “tough” legislation is the funding of the Department of Homeland Securities. It runs out of money at the end of the month and basically so does all of the branches under it. It was an effort to force Obama to take back his executive orders on immigration reform. It passed the house, with a non-veto-proof majority, and is mired in the senate where the Democrats won’t let it get to the floor (you need 60 votes…it doesn’t have 60 votes). The other legislation is more important. That would grant Obama the war authorization he needs to “prosecute” the war against ISIS. Neither side is happy with what he proposed. The GOP doesn’t think it’s specific enough…the Dems think it goes too far.

So both sides are crafting their own bill. Or they will when they return from President’s Day recess in a week. That will hopefully get done. Because it IS congress’ duty to declare war. If they can’t reach agreement on this elementary duty of theirs, the rest is a trip to Mars. It’ll never happen.

The GOP leadership needs to craft something that can pass both houses and do so quickly. Yes, it would be nice to give the president something that is specific in its powers and focuses more on what he should do rather than what he won’t do. But you’ve got a bunch of Dems that won’t go that way. If you botch this bill, and this very basic duty of the congress, you’re basically telling the world you’re inept and can’t perform your duties. And you’re going to lose ALL your duties to the White House. That’s something neither party wants to see happen!

Carry on world…you’re dismissed!


Permission given to Lorra B. to post articles in their entirety.

Congress Looking Into White House’s Role in FCC’s Net Neutrality Regulations


February 9, 2015

The Washington Free Beacon:


The secrecy surrounding the Obama administration’s plans for regulating the Internet has prompted a congressional inquiry into whether the independent Federal Communications Commission or the White House and its allies are calling the shots over the future of the nation’s broadband networks.

A top adviser to Tom Wheeler, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), defended Wheeler’s decision to hide his latest draft of Internet regulations from the public until after the agency voted on them at the end of the month during a public question and answer session on Twitter held on Friday, Feb. 6.

Gigi Sohn, Wheeler’s special counsel for external affairs, pointed to over 4 million public comments submitted to the agency as proof of the public’s support, despite the diversity of the content of those comments.

“Our proposal is based on that record,” Sohn said via Twitter, claiming that the public had been provided ample input over the past year.

However, the head of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform signaled to Wheeler on Friday that the committee planned to launch an investigation into agency, pointing to a White House effort to influence the FCC to craft rules that favored a coalition of pro-net neutrality startups.

The committee’s chairman, Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah,  requested in a letter to Wheeler that the FCC preserve all of its internal net neutrality-related documents produced since a federal court struck down its previous net neutrality rules on Jan. 14, 2014.

The FCC has until Feb. 20 to provide the committee with all net neutrality-related communications and calendar appointments between FCC employees, the White House, and other executive branch agencies since Jan. 14, 2014.

Chaffetz reminded Wheeler that “the Committee has the authority to investigate “any matter” at “any time.”

Wheeler himself has attracted criticism from both sides of the political spectrum for his work as a former telecom lobbyist, venture capitalist, and bundler for the Obama campaign.

The FCC has been stonewalling requests made by Jason Leopold, a reporter for Vice News, under the Free of Information Act for material concerning the telecom industry’s influence over the net neutrality proceedings for about 10 months.

Leopold reported in November 2014  that the FCC reviewed about 4,600 documents for his request, but provided only 600 pages of heavily redacted material.

The FCC withheld a “vast majority of those documents,” he wrote, claiming exemptions that included the protection of, among other things, “records that are part of the behind-the-scenes decision-making process.”

Leopold recently told this reporter via Twitter that the agency emailed him on Christmas Eve stating that it was still waiting on the White House’s approval to grant the remainder of his request.

Leopold, who has made a career out of extensive investigations into executive branch agencies, confirmed the FCC was the first agency ever to tell him it needed White House approval to grant his request.

“And they put it in writing,” he said.

The FCC is an independent agency, but its leadership has attracted congressional attention.

Making net neutrality—which requires internet service providers to charge the same price for the transmittal of data regardless of the type of data being transmitted—the law of the land is a well-documented promise that President Barack Obama made as a candidate in 2008. Debate over the idea of using the government to enforce net neutrality had already been circulating in policy circles for five years.

Investigations of special interest influence on both sides of the issue—including reports by the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Postand—have repeatedly documented  coordination between the White House and the FCC and pro-net neutrality activists, companies, and the administration’s campaign supporters.

More at The Washington Free Beacon:

Boehner Blindsides Obama! Netanyahu Scheduled To Speak To Congress

(Screenshot credit, Mad World News)

(Screenshot credit, Mad World News)

January 23, 2015

Mad World News:

Coming only a day after President Obama pledged during the State of the Union address to veto any new Iran sanctions, U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner announced that he has invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address Congress about Iran’s nuclear program and other issues.

The visit was scheduled without White House knowledge, and they were pretty upset once they found out about it.

White House spokesperson Josh Earnest called the invitation a breach of diplomatic protocol, saying leaders should contact other leaders before traveling to their country. When asked if President Obama would meet with Netanyahu during his visit, Earnest said the White House was waiting to see what Netanyahu planned to say to Congress before they would make a decision about a meeting.

The White House must not have liked what they heard. Now, they have definitively decided not to have a meeting, claiming the timing is too close to Israeli elections.

“As a matter of long-standing practice and principle, we do not see heads of state or candidates in close proximity to their elections, so as to avoid the appearance of influencing a democratic election in a foreign country,” White House spokesperson Bernadette Meehan said in an email to Talking Points Memo. “Accordingly, the President will not be meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu because of the proximity to the Israeli election, which is just two weeks after his planned address to the U.S. Congress.”



Some are saying the unannounced visit is a blatant stab at the Obama administration, but Boehner disagrees. When asked by a reporter if not notifying the White House was a “poke in the eye” to Obama, Boehner said, “The Congress can make this decision on its own. I don’t believe I’m poking anyone in the eye.”

Netanyahu and Obama have had a tenuous relationship for years.

The clash first started in 2009 when Obama spoke in Cairo. He said that the U.S. “does not accept the legitimacy of continued Israeli settlements” on territory Palestinians claimed before 1967. In May 2011, Netanyahu lectured the president in the Oval Office on why Israel would not accept pre-1967 borders with Palestine. The White House was irate with Netanyahu for embarrassing the president.

The relationship started to look up briefly in September 2011 when Obama secured the release of Israelis trapped in their Cairo embassy. However, it took another dive in November, when a hot mic picked up conversation between Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy, where Obama was heard saying, “You’re fed up with him, but I have to deal with him every day.”

More at Mad World News:


John Boehner just made a really bold claim about his Speaker of the House record





January 8, 2015



Screen Shot 2014-01-13 at 1.02.38 PM

, Rare:

Freshly re-elected Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) said something Thursday that is likely to elicit a strong negative reaction from conservatives who were demanding he be replaced by someone else this Congress.

Boehner lamented that some colleagues and many constituents have described him as being “squish,” “spineless” and “establishment.”

“During my years here when I voted, I had the eighth most conservative voting record in the Congress,” he said during a Thursday press conference. “And it does pain me to be described as spineless or a squish.”

Boehner proceeded to make a rather bold claim.

“And I tell you what pains me the most is when they describe me as the establishment. Now, I’m the most anti-establishment speaker we’ve ever had,” he said.

He went on to list attributes he believes make him the most anti-establishment Republican speaker ever:
Read more at Rare

Wall Street: Congress Has Another Gift For You, Delaying The Volcker Rule

January 8, 2015

Huff Post Politics:



WASHINGTON — After stuffing Wall Street’s stockings in December with subsidies for risky trading, the House of Representatives plans to wish big banks a happy New Year on Wednesday by hacking up and delaying the Volcker Rule.

The Volcker Rule is a key reform adopted after the 2008 financial meltdown that bans banks from gambling in securities markets with taxpayer money — a tactic known as proprietary trading. But under legislation slated for a Wednesday vote, banks would be given a two-year reprieve from unloading some of their riskiest holdings — known as collateralized loan obligations.

The deregulation measure is one of 11 changes to the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law that Republicans will bring to the floor under a single bill Wednesday. The legislation can only pass the House if dozens of Democrats support it, since the bill will be brought up under special rules that require a two-thirds majority for approval. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) will lead the opposition to the bill for Democrats on the House floor. Ellison will likely be opposed by House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), who voted for a similar bill in April, and supported the bank subsidy in December.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) railed against the bill in a statement provided to HuffPost.

“One day into the new Congress, House Republicans are picking up right where they left off: trying to gut Wall Street reforms so that big banks can make more risky bets using taxpayer-backed money,” Warren said. “This is yet another big bank giveaway that makes our economy and middle class families less safe.”

Other bank watchdogs are apoplectic about the bill.

“It’s all about the bonus pool,” said Dennis Kelleher, president and CEO of Better Markets, a financial reform nonprofit. “The attack on the Volcker Rule has been nonstop, because proprietary trading is about big-time bets that result in big-time bonuses. Wall Street has been fighting it from day one, and they’re not going to stop.”

“It’s absurd,” said Marcus Stanley, policy director at Americans for Financial Reform. “It’s getting on five years after the passage of the Volcker Rule, and the banks have still not actually been required to stop doing anything that they want to be doing. And anytime we get close to the point where they could, somebody comes in with an extension.”

Collateralized loan obligations, or CLOs, are complex contracts similar to the mortgage securities that crashed the economy in 2008. To create a CLO, banks package dozens of risky corporate loans together and sell slices to investors. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, a major bank regulatory agency, warned in December that the corporate debt market is overheating and becoming increasingly dangerous.

The nation’s largest banks dominate the CLO market. According to an April letterfrom five federal regulators, banks with at least $50 billion in assets hold between 94 percent and 96 percent of the domestic market, valued at $84 billion to $105 billion.

A similar version of the bill was initially introduced by Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) and cosponsored by Rep. Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), passing the House by a voice vote in April. The legislation received another vote in September, when it passed the House 320 – 102, with 95 Democrats voting in favor and just one Republican, Rep. Walter Jones (R-N.C.) voting against it.


More at Huff Post Politics

Video: 2014 — The Year the American Justice System Officially Died

dDecember 31, 2014

Christian Patriots:

In 2014, the problem of police brutality forced itself to the forefront of the national conversation following the brutal killing of Americans at the hands of the police. This increased attention has been a success for activists from all walks of life and for the well-being of citizens. The problem of racism and police murders that involve it is finally receiving widespread acknowledgment and opposition.

But as much as the issue of police abuse needs attention, it remains that injustice in America permeates layers of society that transcend law enforcement, race, and problems of direct violence against citizens.

Rather, police brutality is a symptom of much deeper decay in the concept and system of “justice” in the United States. As much as murderous cops escaping punishment is outrageous, here are other travesties that occurred in 2014:



The Senate attempted to stifle the free speech of any journalist it did not define as “press,” calling the bill a protection of the first amendment. Most of Congress cheered Israel on from June through the summer while it pummeled Gaza. They authorized hundreds of millions in material support. At the end of the summer, President Obama began illegally bombing Syria while drone attacks exposed for killing civilians and children continued.

In just the time since the non-indictment of Darren Wilson, the government has committed a litany of offenses: it stole 2400 acres of Apache native lands to give to a foreign mining company that had been lobbying Congress for a decade. The FDA approved an addictive painkiller to combat addiction to painkillers. Congress moved to invalidate the electoral vote in Washington D.C. that legalized marijuana. It further enabled the NSA to spy on Americans in spite of empty rhetoric promising reform.

Naturally, lawmakers continued the state of perpetual war by renewing the military funding bill, the National Defense Authorization Act (where it gave away the Apache lands). It still guarantees the government’s right to indefinitely detain Americans without trial and it can still torture non-Americans however it likes.

All of these cruel, violative, and often violent instances prove that “justice,” which is supposed to mean “moral rightness,” is as dead as unarmed black men at the hands of police in America. But within the so-called “justice system,” there are more flagrant, direct examples of this lack of justice:

The government, via the IRS and DOJ, is authorized to confiscate the life savings of law-abiding Americans who are not suspected of crimes. There is little redress for the robbery committed against them (cops are also guilty of stealing possessions under the shelter of the DOJ).  At the same time, the IRS directly funds tangible, violent crimes by federally funding murderous police and military. Further, banks tied to illegal money laundering for drug cartels (a clearly illegal action) are given what amount to slaps on the wrist.

Take the problem of dogs murdered by police. While individuals who harm police dogs are viciously charged with assaulting an officer and sent to jail for decades, it is a rare occurrence to see a cop reprimanded for murdering a dog while on duty. In some cases cops have been put on paid leave, but police are rarely charged for killing family pets. The same can be said for a civilian killing a cop versus a cop killing an unarmed civilian: to kill a cop is capital punishment. To kill a civilian is a paid vacation and maybe some bad press for police.




Video: 10 Ways Obama Bypassed Congress Right In Front Of Your Faces in 2014

December 29, 2014

The Blaze:

President Barack Obama began 2014 vowing to act without Congress if need be to get things done. This week, the White House proudly heralded more than 80 executive actions taken during the year, some of biggest taking place after his party took a beating in the November midterms.



Here’s a sampling of the unilateral actions the White House boasted about, and a few that weren’t mentioned:

1. Immigration

On Nov. 20, Obama announced action that would shield about 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation by prioritizing deportations for people who committed crimes.

“The historic actions the president took on immigration offer millions of undocumented immigrants a path out of the shadows while holding them accountable to undergo background checks and become taxpayers, all while doing everything we can to attract and keep the most talented high-skill workers to our shores from around the world,” said a White House blog post this week by presidential assistants Jeffrey Zients and Cecelia Munoz.

2. Climate Change

While in China in November, Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping reached what the leaders called a historic climate change deal. The United States set a goal of reducing carbon emissions by between 26 and 28 percent by 2025, which would be rolling back to 2005 levels. China said its CO2 emissions would peak in 2030.

But aside from the climate deal with China, Obama also took several other climate-related actions: In July, he announced executive actions to help state and local government prepare for climate change. In October, agencies released plans for cutting emissions and preparing for flooding and extreme weather. Obama also pledged $3 billion in U.S. funds to the United Nations-affiliated Climate Resiliency Fund to help cut emissions for the poorest countries. And in Februar, Obama ordered the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation to establish new fuel efficiency standards for large vehicles.

“To combat climate change, the president took steps to improve fuel efficiency for heavy-and medium-duty vehicles, put in place a Clean Power Plan to substantially cut carbon pollution from power plants; took action to make substantial cuts to hydrofluorocarbons; and reached a historic agreement to cut greenhouse gas emissions with China, among many others,” the White Housesaid.

3. Minimum Wage

On Feb. 12, Obama signed an executive order raising the minimum wage for federal employees and federal contract workers to $10.10 per hour. He wanted Congress to raise the wage to that level for the rest of the country. That never happened, but the White House believes it motivated action in other states.

“President Obama rallied support for raising the minimum wage, while signing an executive order to raise the minimum wage for workers on new federal contracts,” the White House blog said. “Cities, states and businesses across the country responded to that call, taking action that will benefit 7 million Americans as of 2017. And workers on new or modified federal contracts will be paid at least $10.10 starting on New Year’s Day.”

4. Police

After the controversies in Ferguson, Missouri, and New York City where unarmed black men died after altercations with police officers, Obama asked for a review of best practices police departments can take to rebuild trust in their communities. On Dec. 18, he signed an executive order to create the Task Force on 21st Century Policing. The task force is set to hold listening sessions around the country and issue a report in March.

5. Guns

Early in the year, the Obama administration took action regarding mental illness and guns. The executive action came through regulations by the Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services. The DOJ clarified rules on who is prohibited from purchasing a gun under existing federal law, which the White House said had been ambiguous. HHS required states to submit more information on individuals through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, which was previously withheld under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPPA, which protects medical privacy.

Obama also issued an executive order in early October to make it more difficult to fire employees of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, by allowing more ATF employees to be converted to career-employees classifications and eligible for civil service protections. The ATF, a scandal-plagued agency in recent years, is generally regarded as the least-favorite federal agency among gun owners.

None of Obama’s gun-related executive actions were mentioned in the White House’s year-end report.

6. Pay Discrimination

Obama issued an executive order to prevent gender pay discrimination among federal contractors in April. Three months later, he signed another executive order to ban pay discrimination among federal contractors against anyone in the LGBT community.

7. ‘Promise Zones’

In January, Obama established five “promise zones” in the United States: economically depressed areas across the country where businesses locating or expanding would be eligible for federal economic development grants, loans and tax incentives. The first five locations were San Antonio, Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Southeastern Kentucky and the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma.

8. Tax Inversion

In September, Obama took action against corporate “tax inversions,” the term used for when an American company merges with a smaller foreign company, locating the in the foreign country to avoid the higher U.S. corporate tax rates. The Treasury Department announced regulations to make inversion less attractive by banning some of the techniques firms used to avoid paying U.S. taxes, while also requiring that a company’s U.S. owners own less than 80 percent of the newly merged company to get the tax benefits. The actions were announced less than a month afterBurger King’s move to buy a Canadian coffee company and relocate in order to pay the lower Canadian corporate taxes instead of U.S. taxes.

9. Expanding Credit

Six years after the mortgage crisis, the Obama administration has taken actions to make it easier to get a home loan. On May 30, the Department of Housing and Urban Development along with the Federal Housing Finance Agency announced plans to expand access to mortgage credit. Earlier this month, the administration introduced the Home Affordability Modification Program, or HAMP, which includes $5,000 for an individual’s foreclosure prevention.

10. Green Industries

In September, Obama announced a series of government and private sector plans to buy more solar panels and promote the solar industry. In November, Obama announced commitments from 120 businesses, nonprofits and schools would buy electric vehicles and install workplace-charging stations.

Video: GOP legend quits Congress with message for America

December 18, 2014

Christian Patriots:

‘I don’t know who’s happier to see me leave, Pelosi or Boehner’


WASHINGTON – The congresswoman stood reverently in front of the painting on the office wall opposite her desk, staring intently with hands clasped tightly behind her back, plaintively confiding she just wished she knew what God wanted her to do next with her life.

It was hard to tell if she was addressing God or the only other person in the room.

Or, perhaps, it was a supplication to those in the painting, the kneeling Founding Fathers in Harris Tompkins Mattheson’s “The First Prayer in Congress, September 1774.”

She was gently reminded how even Washington “had to make a strategic retreat during the Revolutionary War, many times.” She kept staring into the distance, silently.

Just a few days earlier, on May 29, 2013, U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., had shocked Washington, D.C., by unexpectedly announcing her intention to retire from Congress at the end of her term.



The scuttlebutt on Capitol Hill was the leaders of the GOP establishment had had enough of her as a thorn in their side and would not lift a finger to help her in what promised to be an expensive and grueling campaign. Democrats, according to Politico, put her “at the top of their target list after she barely survived re-election.” There was also a pending ethics investigation into her campaign finances that another conservative congressman confided to WND was not her fault but the result of “trusting the wrong people.”

Recapturing the support of Minnesotans may have seemed a daunting prospect, but to millions of Americans across the nation, the housewife who went to Washington had become an inspiration. She was a conservative champion seen as a deeply principled constitutionalist who dared speak truth to power, especially to those in her own party.

And a year-and-a-half after gazing into that painting, Bachmann seemed to have found her answer.

“I’m not done. I’m just going to change arenas now. Instead of holding elective office, now I’ll be fighting from the outside,” a jubilant Bachmann recently told WND in a wide-ranging interview looking back on her storied career and eight years in Congress, where she left an impression like few others before her.

Bachmann plans to continue her mission to make America a better place from outside the beltway by writing, speaking across the country at different venues, appearing on media and associating with various groups.

“I think what I am more proud of than anything is the fact that I was a real person when I came into Congress eight years ago. I am still the same real person today. I had no filter over what I said or what I did.”

Bachmann reminisced how, before coming to Washington, as a wife and a mom in the kitchen listening to Rush Limbaugh and other people that she admired on the radio, she remembered thinking: “What is wrong with those bird-brains in Congress? Why don’t they do what they said they were going to do when we send them there?’”

The Minnesotan said she was not political back then but thought if she ever went to Congress, that’s exactly what she would do. And did she ever.

However, WND wondered, was there anything she felt free to say now that she was leaving office?

“Me?! Are you kidding?” she instantly shot back, then laughed deeply.

“I’ve never had a filter on my mouth at all! No, I was very free. And that’s what got me into trouble all the time. I don’t know who’s happier to see me leave Congress, Nancy Pelosi or John Boehner.”

But it was all worth it, she said.

“I mean, I rolled the dice and I gave it everything I had. I have worked like a maniac for the eight years that I’ve been here. When my feet hit the ground in the morning, I worked. I worked until I’d go to sleep. And I think that’s what I am proudest of, because I put everything on the line. … I couldn’t have worked harder.”

Written by: GARTH KANT – continue at WND

Congress Just Passed A Law Requiring Police Departments To Count How Many People They Shoot

December 16, 2014


Eric Garner Protesters


This week as all eyes were on budget deal wrangling, with little attention and fanfare, Congress actually got something done to reform the police. It passed a bill that could result in complete, national data on police shootings and other deaths in law enforcement custody.

Right now, we have nothing close to that. Police departments are not required to report information about police to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Some do, others don’t, others submit it some years and not others or submit potentially incomplete numbers, making it near-impossible to know how many people police kill every year. Based on the figures that are reported to the federal government, ProPublica recently concluded that young black men are 21 times more likely to be killed by police than whites.

Under the bill awaiting Obama’s signature, states receiving federal funds would be required to report every quarter on deaths in law enforcement custody. This includes not those who are killed by police during a stop, arrest, or other interaction. It also includes those who die in jail or prison. And it requires details about these shootings including gender, race, as well as at least some circumstances surrounding the death.

The bill is a reauthorization of legislation that expired in 2006. Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA) has been trying to revive it since then without success. Scott told the Washington Postthe first time the bill passed in 2000, it took years before data started to come in, because of “the way government works,” and then the bill expired. But if states don’t report information, the federal government could use its power to withhold funds to force compliance. It passed the House last year, but finally moved through the Senate this week on the momentum of post-Ferguson outrage.

The bill also “[r]equires the Attorney General to study such information and report on means by which it can be used to reduce the number of such deaths.”

Senate committee votes to give President Obama new war powers

pppAssociated Press



WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Thursday voted to authorize President Barack Obama’s war against the Islamic State group — the first vote in Congress to explicitly grant him war powers in the U.S. battle against the militant extremists.

The vote was 10-8, with most Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed.

The committee chairman, Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., said he would seek a full Senate vote on the measure before the current Congress ends, but it’s more likely that the authorization will be delayed until the next, Republican-led Congress, which starts Jan. 1.

In the U.S. battle against IS, Obama has been relying on congressional authorizations that former President George W. Bush used to justify military action after 9/11. Critics say the White House’s use of post-9/11 congressional authorizations is a legal stretch, at best. Obama has insisted that he had the legal authority to send about 3,000 U.S. troops to train and assist Iraqi security forces, and launch 1,100 airstrikes against targets in Iraq and Syria since September. More recently, the president has said that he wants a new authorization for use of military force.

On Tuesday, Secretary of State John Kerry said whatever new authorization Congress passes should not limit U.S. military action to Iraq and Syria or prevent the president from deploying ground troops if he later deems them necessary. He also said that if the new authorization had a time limit, there should be a provision for it to be renewed.

Menendez’ resolution, which was passed, would authorize the president to use military force against IS and associated persons or forces — individuals fighting for or on behalf of IS. It would limit the activities of U.S. forces so that there would be no large-scale ground combat operations. Menendez has said that if the president feels he needs that, then he should ask Congress for authorization to do that.

The authorization would be limited to three years and would require the administration to report on the fight against IS every 60 days. He said a three-year time limit would allow Obama and the next president time to assess the situation and make decisions about whether and how to continue military action against IS.

The authorization would not allow ground combat operations, except as necessary to protect or rescue U.S. soldiers or citizens, conduct intelligence operations, spotters to help with airstrikes, operational planning or other forms of advice and assistance.

Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., the incoming chairman of the committee, said he respected the chairman’s effort to get an authorization passed, but that he could not support it. He suggested the committee look to the first of the year, and a new Congress, to take up the issue again.

He said Congress and the administration should coordinate on an authorization that would better track the United States’ approach to fighting IS — something that he thinks any member of the committee would be hard-pressed at this stage to define.

Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., supported the resolution, saying Congress cannot sit back and do nothing “in response to this evil.”

“When it comes to human rights abuses, they (Islamic State militants) are in a class of their own,” she said.

But she also does not support an authorization that would allow U.S. ground forces to fight IS.

“I draw the line in the sand as far as another ground war,” she said.

The committee also approved language that would require Congress to reauthorize in three years America’s war against al-Qaida, which has been going on since 2001.