U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) talks to a reporter as she departs following the weekly Democratic caucus policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., June 24, 2014.
Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Congressional leaders: Obama ISIS plan “overdue”


Members of Congress took a hawkish tone on the Sunday shows, urging President Obama to lay out a tough strategy to fight ISIS when he addresses the nation on Wednesday.

“I want to congratulate the president,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-California, told Candy Crowley on CNN’s “State of the Union”. “He is now on offense.” Feinstein also called the more proactive stance “overdue,” and “the right thing for America.”

Concerns over the radical militant army’s growing influence in Iraq and Syria are particularly high following the recent executions of two American journalists, James Foley and Stephen Sotloff. While there are no indications that there is any imminent threat to the U.S., leaders have pressed for military action.

Rep. Mike Rogers, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, also welcomed Obama’s upcoming speech. “We need to be aggressive in posturing to get ready for this. These are things the president can do,” the Michigan Republican said.

Rogers also said that Obama must “engage” Congress and explain what needs to be done and why, a sentiment shared by Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz. Speaking on ABC’s “This Week,” Cruz said, “it should absolutely take Congressional approval” to move forward with more military action.

Cruz also released a written statement Sunday reiterating his belief that Obama must seek approval from Congress before undertaking further action. “If the threat posed by ISIS is not acute, which would be indicated by the President’s long deliberation, Congress must play a key role in the debate. But if the threat is imminent, we need more urgency and seriousness out of our Commander-in-Chief,” the statement said.

Cruz’ fellow 2016 hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida, took his statements one step further than Cruz on CBS’ “Face the Nation”. Rubio called not just for a “sustained air campaign,” but for airstrikes within Syria to hit ISIS assets there. Rubio also insisted that the mere possibility that ISIS fighters who are also European or American citizens could come to the U.S. is enough to warrant immediate action.

President Obama’s deliberative approach over the past months, Rubio said, amounts to ”presidential malpractice”

Congressional leaders: Obama ISIS plan "overdue"