What happened to congressional authorization of the war against Islamic State?

You may recall the outrage expressed by many members of Congress of both parties when President Obama ordered the use of military force against Islamic State in Iraq.

There was eve more outrage by Congress when the president ordered the bombing of IS targets in Syria. At that point, many members vowed to force a vote on a congressional resolution authorizing the strikes. Since the issue arose so close to the election, most members swore they'd take the matter up after the mid terms in the lame duck session of Congress.

That session is set to end, probably by the weekend. And yet no resolution has been proposed.

The Hill:

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) said late Tuesday that a “conspiracy of silence” among his colleagues is allowing the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to continue without congressional authorization.

“I'm frustrated that we're now more than four months into war -- that's what the administration calls it -- 1,100 air strikes, 1,500 combat advisers there, another 1,500 coming, three deaths in Operation Inherent Resolve of American troops, over a billion dollars spent,” he said on MSNBC.

“But there's been a conspiracy of silence about it here on the Hill.”

He said he is hoping that Congress will pass a measure authorizing the use of force against the terrorist group, but added that he did not think the measure should include the use of ground troops.

“We should be providing air strikes to support the ground efforts of the Iraqi military, the Kurdish Peshmerga, vetted elements of the Syrian opposition,” he said. “But there's no amount of American ground troops that can beat extremism in a region that won't police its own extremism.”

Very few lawmakers have expressed support for ground troops in either Iraq or Syria. And there is little doubt a new AUMF would pass overwhelmingly. So why the delay?

My guess is that Speaker Boehner wants to wait until the Republican majority takes its seats in January, 2015. At that point, conservatives will be able to put their stamp on the measure, and possibly tie a funding bill for the war to the AUMF vote.

But the delay is costing Obama internationally. And Congress dragging its feet on authorization for military force isn't doing the cause any good with the American people either. Let's hope it's at the top of Boehner's agenda when the new Congress is seated.