House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said Sunday that he would call the House back into session if President Barack Obama asked for war authorization for the military campaign against the Islamic State, also called ISIS.
"I'd bring the Congress back," Boehner said on ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos.
The House and Senate are currently in recess, with lawmakers campaigning for the midterm elections. Some members of Congress have called it irresponsible to be on recess instead of debating the conflict as the president's military efforts against the Islamic State escalate, though others have shown little appetite for the debate.
Boehner said he believes Obama has had the authority to carry out the campaign so far without congressional approval, but he criticized the president for not sending a proposal to lawmakers yet.
"The president typically in a situation like this would call for an authorization vote and go sell that to the American people and send a resolution to the Hill," he said. "The president has not done that."
Boehner also said he believes that at some point the United States will have to send combat troops to fight the Islamic State.
Obama first announced airstrikes against the militant group in early August. Since then, he's fielded criticism from all sides on his handling of the mission. Republicans such as Boehner have said Obama was too quick to dismiss sending combat troops.
Reluctant to get the United States embroiled in another long war in the Middle East, the president said at the outset that U.S. soldiers "do not and will not have a combat mission" with the Islamic State.
"At the end of the day, I think it's going to take more than airstrikes to drive them out of there," Boehner said Sunday. "At some point, somebody's boots have to be on the ground."
Asked if those boots had to be American, Boehner said, "We have no choice."
"These are barbarians," Boehner said. "They intend to kill us. And if we don't destroy them first, we're going to pay the price."