Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) on Sunday insisted that President Barack Obama must coordinate with Congress on a stately for protecting U.S. national security interests from the Islamic State.
Cruz was reacting to Obama's televised statement on Sunday, which Cruz said shows Obama still has no plan for dealing with the terrorist group even after the beheading of two U.S. journalists.
"One thing he did indicate, however, is that he would not be requesting congressional authorization for ongoing military operations in Iraq or Syria," Cruz said. "This is unacceptable."
Cruz and other Republicans have criticized Obama for failing to devise a plan for reining in the Islamic State, especially since Obama admitted to having no strategy at all for dealing with the group in Syria. He said if Obama doesn't see the group as an immediate danger, there should be time to work out a plan with Congress.
"But if the threat is imminent, we need more urgency and seriousness out of our commander-in-chief," he added.
In an interview with NBC over the weekend, Obama said it would involve more airstrikes and intelligence gathering activities. While he said ground troops are still not being considered, the next step will be to "start going on some offense," which he indicated would be done in party by training and equipping Iraq's military.
Obama said he would brief members of Congress on Tuesday, and said he's "confident" he has the authorization to take the steps he's planning.
Obama is expected to deliver a public address Wednesday about his plan for dealing with the Islamic State.
It's unclear whether Obama's plan will meet the demands of many members of Congress who say the U.S. needs to eradicate the Islamic State before it seizes more territory in the Middle East. But Cruz on Sunday was already indicating Obama's plan will not be enough.
"We do not need another vague speech; we need a strategy," Cruz said. "The president did not have one last year, or last week, and he still does not have one now."
Cruz recommended using U.S. airpower to "dismantle and destroy" the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and said authorization from Congress for this serious step is needed.
"President Obama should make the case to the American people and seek authorization from Congress," he said. "Formal congressional authorization is required by the Constitution and would force the president to commit to a clearly defined strategy to protect our national security. And it would unite the Congress in the mission to protect America and eradicate ISIS."