Brat: Congress must stop punting on use of military force

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," October 23, 2017. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Now Representative Dave Brat, Republican of Virginia of the House Freedom Caucus.

And, sir, thanks for your patience.

REP. DAVE BRAT, R-VA.: Absolutely.

CAVUTO: But I did want to touch on this.

And a lot of Americans are going to start reexamining what our troop commitments are...

BRAT: Yes.

CAVUTO: ... why we're in certain regions of the world. You're debating taxes and everything else right now.

BRAT: Yes.

CAVUTO: How do you feel about all this?

BRAT: Yes.

Well, Congress has been punting for way too long and giving power to the executive, not just under President Obama, but going back 20 or 30 years. The -- the AUMF, right, authorization for use of military force, Congress should be in the forefront on that.

We're still operating on the AUMF back from the Gulf days. And now, a you say, we have Islamic extremist movements through Africa, and they're a threat to the -- to the mainland.

So, some of us do watch foreign affairs. I used to work at the World Bank. I have an interest in that. But you're right.

CAVUTO: So, you think it's worth our while to be there, the risks notwithstanding, that happened to these young men notwithstanding?

BRAT: Well, we have to be there in some capacity.

And the generals are making aware that we're training up. We're -- if you leave a vacuum, right, the vacuum is what brought us 9/11. If you have no awareness of these Islamic groups and the terrorists building up power and wherewithal and training and spreading that here, either we're going to fight the war there or here.

And so we have -- at least we have to have minimal awareness, some training. And a lot of these North African states or Central African states are ungoverned. Right? And so there's a vacuum there.

And that's what makes this problematic. So, the best thing we can do for the rest of the world is spread economic growth, the rule of law, our basic democratic values. And if you spread that and enrich everybody, they're way less susceptible to these terrorist extremists who are wreaking havoc on us especially.

CAVUTO: But, very quickly, sir, you see there to be value in our being in regions in the world where there are Al Qaeda strongholds, where we might be outnumbered, but it's good that we're there?

BRAT: Yes, not with troops fighting. But we have to have a basic awareness, sure, in every region, right...


BRAT: ... where you have State Department -- we have diplomats in every region.

If you don't, you are going to -- you are going to be surprised 10 years down the line.

CAVUTO: All right.

BRAT: And then we have to send our -- our men and women into harm's way for -- in a big way.

CAVUTO: All right, Congressman Dave Brat, I'm sorry to get to you so late in this broadcast.

BRAT: Thanks, Neil. You bet.

CAVUTO: And thank you for your patience.

But, again, the U.S. military trying to explain what happened to these four men lost in a firefight with Al Qaeda elements, so much we still don't know. They're still investigating.

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