President Barack Obama presented Congress with an authorization for the use of force against ISIS, intentionally limiting some of his own power while leaving the door open for his successors.
The authorization repeals a 2002 measure that allowed-then President Bush broad powers to conduct military operations in Iraq, but leaves in place a 2001 piece of legislation that allows the United States to conduct global military operations against al-Qaeda.
The resolution limits the use of force for three years, with a reauthorization required every six months.
“ISIL has committed despicable acts of violence and mass executions against Muslims, regardless of sect, who do not subscribe to ISIL’s depraved, violent, and oppressive ideology,” the resolution reads.
Connecticut’s congressional delegation spoke in favor of the resolution.
“ISIS poses a real threat to our country, our allies, and our broader security interests in the region. Its uncompromising brutality and acts of terrorism, which include the horrific murders of journalists, aid workers and thousands of civilians across Iraq and Syria, demand coordinated and sustained confrontation from the international community,” U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty said in a release. “I look forward to thoroughly reviewing the president’s draft authorization and discussing it with folks here at home in northwest and central Connecticut.”
Sen. Christopher Murphy drew an analogy to flatworms in a speech delivered on the Senate floor. Though he stopped short of speaking against Obama’s authorization, he did suggest that the right tools must be used.
“I want to tell you about flatworms for a second,” Murphy said. “This is going to sound a little strange, but I’ll bring it back here. If you split one of them in two, if you cut it in half, both halves regenerate into new flatworms. If you’re trying to get rid of flatworms, cutting them in pieces does more harm than good.”
Though it does allow for the use of U.S. troops, Obama’s draft authorization makes clear the president’s belief that “it is more effective to use our unique capabilities in support of partners on the ground instead of large-scale deployments of U.S. ground forces.”
Blumenthal Wants to Reduce Recidivism
Connecticut’s Sen. Richard Blumenthal was among seven senators this week to sign on to S. 467, known as “a bill to reduce recidivism and increase public safety.”
The bill would force the U.S. attorney general to conduct a review of programming designed to keep offenders from becoming repeat offenders, submit an annual proposal to the Senate’s Appropriations and Judiciary committees and find ways to identify products currently manufactured overseas that could be manufactured by prisoners participating in a prison work program without reducing job opportunities for other workers in the United States
Larson, Esty Want Farmington River Designated ‘Scenic’
Earlier this month, U.S. Representatives Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, and John Larson, D-1st District, introduced a bill that would “designate certain segments of the Farmington River and Salmon Brook in the state of Connecticut as components of the national wild and scenic rivers system.”
The Connecticut General Assembly previously endorsed the designation and the bill would not change the status of sections of the rivers designated for recreational use.
In all, the affected sections of river total approximately 62 miles and management would fall to the state of Connecticut and the towns through which the river flows, including Avon, Bloomfield, Burlington, East Granby, Farmington, Granby, Hartland, Simsbury and Windsor.
Jordan Fenster is an award-winning freelance journalist. He lives with his family in Fairfield County. He can be reached by or @JordanFenster on Twitter.
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