-- The White House and House Speaker John Boehner are trading blame over a stalled measure to legally authorize the fight against ISIS.
But the White House says it's Congress, and not the president's plan, that’s the real problem.
"Congress has been AWOL when it comes to the AUMF," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters in Tuesday's press briefing, saying that Speaker Boehner has offered "excuse after excuse for why he hasn't done his job."
"At some point, it has to be the responsibility of the Speaker of the House to do his job and for members of Congress to do their job," Earnest continued.
Obama sent a draft proposal to Congress on February 11, but the blueprint was immediately rejected by Republicans and Democrats – though for different reasons.
But across the aisle, Republicans have criticized the draft proposal because they believe it restricts the president’s power to wage combat compared to the two authorizations he is depending on now to engage ISIS.
“The president’s request for an authorization of the use of military force calls for less authority than he has today. I just think given the fight that we’re in it’s irresponsible,” Boehner said. “This is why the president, frankly, should withdraw the authorization of the use of military force and start over.
“We don’t have a strategy,” he continued. “For over two years now, I’ve been calling on the president to develop an overarching strategy to deal with this growing terrorist threat. We don’t have one and the fact is the threat is growing faster than what we and our allies can do to stop it.”
Asked why Congress doesn’t assert its own war powers, Boehner conceded that the ongoing military operation to fight ISIS is “the president’s responsibility.”
Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, noted that he is “deeply disappointed” that Boehner “abdicated responsibility” for the AUMF.
"The reality is that we wait only for the courage to act, and that is not something that can be delivered by pouch from the White House," Schiff, D-California, stated. "At the end of the day, it is the Congress that will suffer from its apathy, as the institution will see its role as a check on the President's war-making authority atrophy beyond recognition."