But behind the scenes, there’s no clear plan for Congress to exert its will or even make its wishes known. Lawmakers, staffers, and officials told The Daily Beast that the administration’s refusal to tell anyone its strategy and work with Congress on a bill to authorize military action means the task of passing such a bill is a Sisyphean effort likely to fail. The Hill may not even be able to muster a vote, they say.
“Members will certainly have discussions about the path forward on [ISIS] when they return next week, but how could Congress vote to authorize some action when the president hasn’t even made a compelling case to the American people about what our national objective and strategy should be?” a senior House GOP aide told The Daily Beast.
There’s widespread frustration in both chambers and both parties about President Obama’s admission that “we don’t have a strategy yet” to deal with ISIS in Iraq and Syria. But now the lack of strategy is actually protecting Obama from oversight because Congress can’t authorize or reject what it can’t understand.