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Defense spending amendment forcing debate on Islamic State force dies

By Danielle Haynes
Defense spending amendment forcing debate on Islamic State force dies
An amendment to the defense spending bill by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., would have forced Congress to give approval for any military force against the Islamic State. The amendment was defeated by the House. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, June 11 (UPI) -- The House on Thursday shot down an amendment to the defense spending bill that would have required Congressional authorization for military force against the Islamic State.

The amendment, from U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., failed with a vote of 196-231. It would have prevented the use of Department of Defense funds in the fight against IS -- also identified by the acronyms ISIS and ISIL -- without Congressional debate and approval.

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He said it's Congress' responsibility to vote on the use of U.S. military force, The Hill reported.

"It's worth having Congress do its job," Schiff said. "If we're going to ask our service members to risk their lives, we ought to have the courage ourselves to make a vote on this war."

The United States has been conducting airstrikes against IS since August when U.S. President Barack Obama announced military involvement under the AUMF. The Pentagon hasn't put combat troops on the ground, though on Wednesday, Obama announced an additional 450 U.S. troops would be sent to train Iraqi forces.

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There has yet to be a formal debate and authorization from Congress for U.S. military involvement against IS.

After defeat of Schiff's amendment Thursday, the House voted 278-149 to pass the annual defense spending bill for $579 billion.

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