President Barack Obama has met Congressional leaders to outline and press his case for an expanded military campaign against Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Iraq and Syria.
Barack Obama is discussing his strategy with leaders from both parties at the White House.
The talks come ahead of the president’s speech to the nation on Wednesday night.
It is not clear whether Barack Obama will seek Congressional authorization for an increased military role.
Tuesday’s meeting with Congressional leaders comes a year after lawmakers blocked Barack Obama’s previous plans for missile strikes against Syria.
Since then, the ISIS jihadist group has taken control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria.
In June it declared the creation of a “caliphate” or Islamic state.
In the past month, ISIS militants have beheaded two American journalists in protest against US airstrikes on its forces in Iraq.
Barack Obama has ruled out the possibility of a US ground operation against ISIS but has signaled he may expand airstrikes to include Syria.
While leaders in Congress have made it clear they are not interested in pursuing a vote on military action, some lawmakers have said any airstrikes or military action should be authorised by them.
Barack Obama has ruled out the possibility of a US ground operation against ISIS but has signaled he may expand airstrikes to include Syria (photo NBC)
Republican Senator Rand Paul told the website Politico that if Barack Obama does not ask for authorization, “it would show a disregard for the Constitution, and for the history of our country”.
Other lawmakers are more cautious about committing themselves to potentially risky military action, especially with the approach of Congressional mid-term elections in November.
According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, a large majority of the American public views ISIS as a serious threat to the US and widely supports airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.
About 100 Americans are believed to have joined the militants and the US state department has tried to counter this by making a hard-hitting video that tries to dissuade potential recruits.
Barack Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, told Politico on September 8 the president was hoping for a “buy-in” from Congress.
Meanwhile, France has announced it will host an international conference on Iraq on September 15 and President Francois Hollande will visit the country later this week.
On September 8, the US hailed the creation of a new government in Iraq as a major milestone and a crucial step toward defeating the militant group.
Secretary of State John Kerry said Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s cabinet had the “potential to unite all of Iraq’s diverse communities”.
Posts have been shared between the Shia Arab majority, Sunni Arabs and Kurds.
The US had made the approval of a unity government a condition for increased military assistance.
John Kerry is travelling to Saudi Arabia and Jordan this week as part of efforts to build a coalition to confront ISIS.
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Duck Dynasty’s Willie Robertson has endorsed political outsider and Republican businessman Vance McAllister, who will be battling it out December 9 in a special run-off election for a vacant seat in Louisiana’s 5th Congressional district where Robertson and his famous clan are residents.
Willie Robertson, once rumored to be considering a run for the very same seat, appears in a campaign video reminding voters to “get out…and vote for my good buddy Vance McAllister. Let’s send somebody from the 5th District who speaks for us to help turn Washington around.”
Vance McAllister appears at the end of the video and says: “I’m not a politician, but I approve this message.”
He has been promoting his outsider status from the beginning against state Senator Neil Riser, his Republican opponent.
Willie Robertson has endorsed political outsider and Republican businessman Vance McAllister, who will be battling it out December 9 in a special run-off election for a vacant seat in Louisiana’s 5th Congressional district
The strategy has worked so far, with Vance McAllister beating 12 other candidates, including state lawmakers, mayors and a former congress member, in an October 16 open primary where he garnered 18 percent of the vote.
However, Neil Riser, who won 32% of the vote in the primary, will be stiff competition for the contested seat, which Rep. Rodney Alexander vacated this summer to take a position in Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration.
But Vance McAllister’s campaign thinks the name-recognition of the Robertsons will help them cross the finish line first.
“I think it gives an added bit of bona fides,” Vance McAllister adviser John Robinson told Roll Call, which posted the campaign video Thursday.
“I heard some people say, <<Oh, we’ve heard of Neil Riser, but we know the Robertsons are behind you>>.”
It’s hard to believe people haven’t heard of the Robertsons, even if they haven’t seen an episode of Duck Dynasty. The show, which follows the lives of the tight-knit duck call-making band of brothers and their families, is the most watched cable reality television show in history, beating out one-time rating juggernauts like American Idol.
This isn’t Willie Robertson’s first foray into political waters. While promoting his show – and squelching rumors of personal political ambitions on Fox News in August – Willie Robertson revealed his candidate pick for 2016.
“I’m curious to know about Jindal,” Willie Robertson said.
“That’s my guy.”
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Several Republican strategists are pushing Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson to run for the seat being vacated by Rep. Rodney Alexander in September, according to a new report.
A well-liked conservative Willie Robertson may be the next pop culture icon to jump into politics, a new report claims.
Willie Robertson is receiving intense interest from several Washington operatives as a potential future Congressman, the Washington Examiner reported.
Republican strategists are pushing Willie Robertson to run for the seat currently held by Republican Rodney Alexander, who is slated to retire in September to take a job in Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal’s cabinet.
A special election will be held to fill the open seat in September.
Several Republican strategists are pushing Duck Dynasty star Willie Robertson to run for the seat being vacated by Rep. Rodney Alexander in September
“My boys want to run Willie Robertson for the seat,” a key advisor to House GOP leadership told the Examiner.
The seat represents the state’s fifth district, which includes Willie Robertson’s home city of Monroe, where he and his brothers own and run popular hunting companies Duck Commander and Buck Commander, which are at the center of Duck Dynasty reality show.
But the stars of the show, among cable’s most watched programs, also devote time to a message of Christian faith, family values and the right to bear arms — all themes that would fit in well with a possible Republican campaign.
Willie Robertson, along with his brothers, has expanded his national profile in recent months, spending part of the summer on the Christian lecture circuit at events with Rick Warren, Tim Tebow and Sarah Palin. Earlier this year, he was even drafted to be included on the ballot for the NRA’s board of directors
But despite Willie Robertson’s rising star, some GOP insiders remain skeptical over his ability to cross over into politics.
“Why would a multimillionaire TV sensation give up that work to run for a congressional seat,” another prominent GOP strategist told the Examiner.
“I think it is a D.C. thing right now.”