The Pentagon said last Monday the Obama Administration will not send an additional 1,500 troops to Iraq until Congress approves its $5.6 billion request to pay for the deployment. The Defense Department noted that while the White House has legal authority to send the troops to Iraq to fight ISIL, the Administration wants to first secure congressional approval. In testimony before Congress last week, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Martin Dempsey indicated the U.S. may need to redeploy combat troops to Iraq. On Sunday, President Obama released a statement on the death of Peter Kassig, an American humanitarian aid worker in Syria who had been captured last year and reportedly beheaded by ISIL over the weekend.
Last Friday, the Pentagon announced it is mobilizing approximately 2,100 Army National Guard and Reserve soldiers to fight the spread of Ebola in West Africa.
FY 2015 Funding
A potential presidential decision on immigration could prompt conservative Republicans to try to block the move by attaching a rider to any federal spending legislation, which would contain funding for the Defense Department. Such a move could possibly threaten passage of the bill.