The Florida Legislature convened Tuesday to begin their 60-day session with huge issues confronting them: such as coming together on a major water bill, and dealing with legislation regarding guns, the death penalty, rape kits, education, and health care.
But Pinellas County House Republican Larry Ahern also wants the Legislature to weigh in on weightier topics such as going after Islamic terrorists.
Specifically, Ahern wants Congress to declare war on al-Qaida, ISIS, ISLE, and “all other Islamic terrorist organizations that similarly engage in acts of terrorism.”
“ISIS and Islamic extremism is the single greatest threat to our way of life today,” the Seminole-based representative said in a statement released Wednesday. “It is right that the American government take action to protect its people from these radicals, their ideology and their plans to destroy Western Civilization.”
The measure claims that ISIL “systematically targets, kidnaps, and kills innocent men, women, and children throughout Iraq and Syria, continues to expand its terror influence, and is responsible for recent attacks in Egypt, Lebanon, Tunisia, and France, and other global Islamic terrorist organizations have committed unprovoked acts of war against the government and people of the United States and against allied and friendly governments and their populations.”
The measure also calls for copies of the memorial to be sent to President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Paul D. Ryan, and to each member of the Florida congressional delegation.
A U.S.-led coalition has been attacking ISIS in Syria with airstrikes since August 2014.
Congress has not approved an Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) to fight ISIS, and continues to engage under the last AUMF, which passed in 2002. That has troubled several lawmakers, most prominently Virginia Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine, and including GOP U.S. Rep. and Florida Senate candidate David Jolly and Tampa Bay area Democratic U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor. They say Congress should vote on current military operations in the Middle East.