President may have legal backing to expand fight

War Powers Act requires presidents to notify Congress within 48 hours of military action

President Barack Obama addresses the nation from the Cross Hall in the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. In a major reversal, Obama ordered the United States into a broad military campaign to “degrade and ultimately destroy” militants in two volatile Middle East nations, authorizing airstrikes inside Syria for the first time, as well as an expansion of strikes in Iraq. (AP Photo/Saul Loeb, Pool)

CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – The White House says President Obama has the legal backing to expand the fight against ISIS without new approval from lawmakers.

The 1973 War Powers Act requires presidents to notify Congress within 48 hours of military action and limits the use of military forces to no more than 60 days unless Congress authorizes force or declares war.

“As the commander in chief he shouldn’t ask nobody to take an action like that. He’s just got to go ahead and do what he has got do,” said Jose Melendez, who supports military action against ISIS.

Critics say the War Powers Act provide shaky justification for the air strikes against the Islamic State militants. As recently as last year, President Obama called the measure outdated and said it should be repealed.

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