Reacting to President Obama’s White House Briefing Room statement about still lacking a strategy to take on rebels in Syria, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell urged action and said Congress is ready to back the president up -- if he has a plan.

McConnell: “The president needs to develop a regional strategy, working with our allies, to defeat ISIL and to use the full extent of his authorities to attack this enemy force. The president needs to present this plan to the Congress, and the American people, and where the president believes he lacks authority to execute such a strategy, he needs to explain to the Congress how additional authority for the use of force will protect America.

“If the president is prepared to engage Congress with a strategic plan to protect the U.S. and our allies from ISIL, I believe he will have significant congressional support. But don’t forget, the threat from ISIL is real and it’s growing—and it is time for President Obama to exercise some leadership in launching a response.”

He added that Senate Republicans in early July urged the White House to provide a plan of action.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at