09/16/2014 04:34 pm ET Updated Sep 16, 2014

GOP Rep. Jack Kingston Doesn't Want 'Another Half-Pregnant War'

WASHINGTON -- Less than a week after President Barack Obama revealed his strategy to defeat the Islamic State, one GOP congressman spoke out in defense of one of its more contentious points.

During Tuesday's House debate on the Islamic State, Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) expressed support for the president's authority under the existing Authorization for Use of Military Force to go after the militant group formerly known as ISIS -- so long as the U.S. doesn't repeat past mistakes.

"We do not need another half-pregnant war in the Middle East," Kingston said, speaking in support of an amendment proposed by Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) that would grant the Obama administration authority to arm and train Syrian rebels.

"If it's important enough to fight, it's important enough to win, and we need to give the commander in chief all the resources that he needs to have this victory."

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During his speech to the nation on Wednesday, Obama said he had "the authority" to address the Islamic State threat and wanted "congressional support" to show American unity on the issue. That position was met with skepticism by lawmakers of his own party who argued for more caution before authorizing involvement in Syria.

"We don't want to do [George W.] Bush -- shoot first and ask questions later," Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-Ariz.) told The Huffington Post last week. "We've already seen that movie, it didn't work out for us."

During Tuesday's floor session, Kingston added that "the president is probably right" on his ability to act against the Islamic State threat under the current interpretation of the 2001 and 2002 resolutions.

"I haven't come to a 100 percent conclusion on that, but I believe that he does have that authority," Kingston said.

However, with elections coming up, any action to delineate such a plan before Congress' upcoming recess is increasingly unlikely.

"That could change because there is definitely growing momentum behind the idea that Congress needs to vote on this, that the prior authorizations are insufficient," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) told The Huffington Post on Thursday. "But I'm not sure that will be enough given the compressed time schedule."



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