Asked whether the war authorization passed in 2001 covers the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Hillary Clinton said in the CBS News Democratic debate Saturday night, "It certainly does."
However, she added, "I would like to see it updated. I know the White House has actually been working with members of Congress -- maybe now we can get it moving again."
The United States has been fighting ISIS for more than 15 months now, and the Obama administration has said its actions are legal under the authorization for the use of military force (AUMF) that Congress passed in 2001. That AUMF granted the executive branch authority to fight whomever was responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The administration has made the case that ISIS is simply an outgrowth of al Qaeda.
Congress has been debating a new AUMF for months but has yet to pass one. The administration also drafted its own version of a new AUMF to grant it more authority for its anti-ISIS campaign.
In the meantime, the administration has been stepping up its operations against ISIS. Late last month, President Obama announced he was sending a small number of special forces into Syria, expanding the United States' involvement in the fight against ISIS there from the air to the ground.
After that announcement, a group of 35 bipartisan members of the House, led by Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Massachusetts., sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan calling for an AUMF debate and vote.