President Obama is scheduled to make a statement "on the situation in Iraq" at the White House at 12:30p.m 1:15p.m*. Last week, the president indicated he was considering intervening militarily in Iraq. U.S. forces, of course, left the country in 2011 despite efforts by Obama to extend their stay there.
The White House insisted yesterday the president hadn't made a decision yet, and The Hill reports:
After a meeting with top congressional leaders Wednesday afternoon in the Oval Office, lawmakers said they did not think the president would come to them to ask for authorization for a military strike.
"The president briefed us on the situation in Iraq and indicated he didn't feel he had any need for authority from us for steps that he might take and indicated that he would keep us posted," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said.
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) introduced a resolution to repeal the Congressional authorization of the use of military force (AUMF) in Iraq at the beginning of the year, but the Democrat-controlled Senate has not acted on it. President Obama, who has generally not sought any kind of congressional authorization for his various military interventions, is naturally unlikely to do so here, especially given the Congress' inability, or unwillingness, to repeal the Iraq AUMF.
The president initially said he wouldn't be sending troops to Iraq, although a few days later he did send troops to Iraq. He's also considering air strikes against insurgents in Iraq, something Iraq's beleaguered prime minister secretly asked for last month, before the Al-Qaeda linked Islamic State in Iraq (ISIS) made significant gains across the country.
In his statement he announced the U.S. would send 300 military advisors, insisting they were not troops. He reserved the right to order airstrikes as necessary in the future.
*The White House delayed the statement by 45 minutes, no word given as to why.