WASHINGTON (Sputnik), Leandra Bernstein — On Sunday, President Barack Obama addressed the need for the US Congress to authorize military force against the Islamic State, also known as Daesh, following the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, California.
"The threats, the terrorist bombing in Paris, and the shooting in San Bernardino that is connected to terrorism… the more things like this that happen, the more it tends to get Congress finally off the sidelines," Kaine said.
Since the beginning of hostilities in August 2014, Obama has relied on a 2001 authorization for use of military force (AUMF) to attack the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
"Congress wants to hide in the weeds," Kaine said of the failure to authorize war on the Islamic State. "What Congress wants to do is criticize the president, but not vote to authorize [war]."
In February, Obama sent a draft AUMF to the Congress which has not yet come up for a vote. Under US law, it is the responsibility of the legislature to officially declare war.