President Obama launched a military offensive against ISIS targets in August 2014. He publicly called on Congress to authorize the mission in December 2014. He used part of his State of the Union address to urge lawmakers to act in January 2015. At Congress' insistence, the White House even sent draft legislative language to Capitol Hill in February 2015.
But nearly eight months after Obama ordered military strikes, it seems increasingly clear that Congress has no intention of ever doing any work on the U.S. mission. Politico reports:
If anyone wanted further evidence that Congress is stalled in its effort to pass a separate resolution authorizing military force against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a House hearing Wednesday provided plenty of signs.
The House Armed Services Committee advertised its testimony with Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey as a discussion of the so-called Authorization for the Use of Military Force, but the issue hardly came up.
To be sure, this is not the result of pure legislative laziness. On the contrary, there's a real, substantive policy disagreement at the core of the inaction -- some lawmakers believe the draft resolution sent to Congress by President Obama goes too far, while some believe it doesn't go far enough.
Lawmakers could try writing their own resolution -- in other words, the legislative branch could try actual legislating -- but that wouldn't resolve the underlying difference.
And so, nothing has happened; nothing is happening; and chances are, nothing will happen.
Does this mean Obama's military offensive against ISIS will have to end? Actually, no, and that's ultimately the root of the problem.