Washington, D.C. –Congressman Michael McCaul (R-TX), Lead Republican of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, appeared live on Bloomberg’s “Balance of Power” with David Westin to discuss the legislation Democrats brought to the floor today that would  limit the ability of our Commander-in-Chief to protect Americans in the Middle East and would repeal a key counterterrorism authority without a replacement. Key highlights below:

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On the dangers of repealing the ’02 AUMF with no replacement: “[This legislation] was already rejected in the NDAA bill. The Democrats put it back on the Floor. I think most of us are in favor of updating and modernizing the 2002 AUMF.  I think [repealing it] is going to be a dangerous thing to do. A lot of this also is preemptively trying to tie the President’s hands to respond to any attacks that Iran could have on our military installations in Iraq as well. I think under Article II of the Constitution there is a self-defense right to respond to these attacks. I think it is a bit of an overreach. We would like to see an updated AUMF but to just completely do away with it would be a danger to the homeland.”

On modernizing the AUMF: “I know that in the House, we are going to start meeting. With my role as the Lead Republican of Foreign Affairs – the Committee of jurisdiction – we are going to be meeting with Members of our conference and hopefully with the other side of the aisle to work something out where we could modernize it. It has been almost 20 years since this was passed. I think it should be modernized.  But just to take it off the table- the authorization to go after ISIS in Iraq- I think would be a very dangerous mistake.”

On the President’s limited, justified action in Iraq: “I would argue the President has exercised great restraint. I was in the White House when they shot down our drone. He decided to pull back and not hit back. He has shown a lot of restraint, but David, when they killed an American serviceman, wounded four soldiers, attacked our embassy in Baghdad, and had this imminent plot Soleimani was going to exercise to kill Americans and diplomats, the President was totally justified  in acting at that point in time. Had he not, and had it  gone forward, you can imagine the criticisms that would come out from that.”