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Anchored by Jake Tapper, The Lead airs at 4 p.m. ET on CNN.

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September 1st, 2014
06:54 PM ET

Should U.S. follow U.K.'s lead on ISIS?

(CNN) - The United States will need to take a page from British Prime Minister David Cameron and "balance civil liberties with security" in order to protect the homeland from terrorist attacks, says Democratic Congressman Engel.

"I think it's a necessary idea. You always have to balance the civil liberties with security, and I think that the Prime Minister is trying to find a happy medium," the ranking minority member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee tells CNN's Dana Bash. "I think they're balancing it. I think we're going to have to balance it. We have to do something to try to prevent these potential attacks."

In an effort to target U.K.-born jihadis attempting to travel back from ISIS battlefields, Cameron has proposed enhancing no-fly list restrictions and granting police the power to seize passports of citizens suspected of terrorism to block their return to the country.

Engel joined CNN in a joint interview with House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Rep. Ed Royce. The Republican congressman also called for preventive action, recommending consultation and uniform strategy with America's European allies.

"It's a worldwide phenomenon caused in part by this virtual caliphate on internet for recruiting. And so with our allies, we should be working in tandem on a strategy so we protect the homeland," Royce pleaded, adding, "Once you have a European passport, you also have access into the United States, right? So this needs to be done in consultation."

Though he authorized an expansion of US airstrikes on ISIS targets over the weekend, President Obama has not yet ordered airstrikes in Syria. Engel believes inaction in Syria, dating back to 2012, allowed ISIS to fill a void.

"Two years ago, I said that we should be helping the Free Syria Army when the civil war started in Syria," Engel stated. "They begged us for some help and unfortunately, I think we made a mistake in not helping them so ISIS filled the void. I still think it's not too late. I still think we should help the Free Syrian Army, but I wish we had done it a couple years ago."

Chairman Royce revealed the House would be convening hearings on the administration's ISIS strategy, likely including Secretary of State John Kerry, when Congress returns to session.

For more of our interview with the congressmen, watch the video above.

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