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Arizona congressman: ‘Why aren’t we declaring war on the Islamic State?’

FILE -- This undated image posted online Monday, May 1, 2017, by supporters of the Islamic State militant group on an anonymous photo sharing website, purports to show an Islamic State fighter firing his weapon during clashes with U.S.-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, in the northern Syrian province of Raqqa. (Militant Photo via AP)

LISTEN: Andy Biggs, Arizona Congressman

PHOENIX — In the wake of another terror attack in the United Kingdom, an Arizona congressman is wondering why the United States is not gearing up for war.

“Why aren’t we declaring war on the Islamic State,” U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) asked on KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Reality Check with Darin Damme.

Biggs said, if the threat of ISIS is so real, making the decision to go to war should be relatively simple.

“We galvanize the entire country – we become focused militarily, intelligence-wise – we focus as a nation to have a war,” he said. “If we believe that ISIS is an existential threat to the United States – and that’s the question – if they are, then we should be declaring war.”

However, Biggs was quick to answer his own question. He said the United States refers to the terror group as just that, a group, which makes declaring war more complicated. Other world leaders refer to ISIS as a nation-state.

He also said current attitudes toward political correctness would prove difficult to surmount on the road to war, even if those attitudes do little to stop terrorism.

“As long as you’ve got people who say ‘Love is going to conquer all,’ you’re going to have a problem,” Biggs said.

The congressman said those people — specifically those on the far left and some celebrities — need to take an honest look at the scenario.

“We need people who are big, bad, mean and tough who are going to get in there and take these folks out,” he said. “That’s what we need.”

Biggs said the idea of protecting the country should take precedent over good publicity.

“These people – we have intelligence, we know that these folks are there – but we don’t want to go forward and say, ‘You’re potentially a danger and we need to take care of that,'” he said.

He also said the country needs to, at the least, take a deeper look at the people allowed in.

“I think the bottom line is we have to have a finer filter for people coming in. We do.”

Biggs knows the idea of vetting people — or stop them from coming into the country all together — will not be popular, but he said that’s Congress’ job.

“You don’t go to Congress to make friends. You go to Congress to try to save this country and turn us around.”

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