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Obama may bypass Congress over Iraq

June 19, 2014, 9:02 UTC+3
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi says the president does not need any further legislative authority to pursue the particular options for increased security assistance
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US President Barack Obama

US President Barack Obama

© EPA/MARTIN SIMON/POOL

WASHINGTON, June 19. /ITAR-TASS/. US President Barack Obama may not ask Congress for approval when deciding on possible military involvement to counter the growing terrorist threat in Iraq, House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said.

“I do not believe the president needs any further legislative authority to pursue the particular options for increased security assistance discussed today,” Pelosi said. She did not specify what options the president is considering.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also said that Obama does not need the approval from Congress for the options he is considering. The statement indirectly confirms that the US does not plan to send ground troops to Iraq, but instead consider conducting air strikes against militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) group. The US President requires Congress approval for a ground operation.

On Wednesday, Obama held a meeting with Congressional leaders over the deteriorating situation in Iraq and growing terrorist threat in the region. Obama reviewed efforts to strengthen the capacity of Iraq’s security forces to confront the threat from ISIS, including options for increased security assistance.

US Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner also attended the meeting, along with Pelosi and McConnell.

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