Posted by on June 06, 2011 in Blog
On Friday morning, the House of Representatives passed a resolution sponsored by House Speaker John Boehner, declaring that “the President shall not deploy, establish, or maintain the presence of units and members of the United States Armed Forces” in Libya and requesting that the President “transmit to the House of Representatives a report describing in detail United States security interests and objectives.”
The resolution came after a spate of similar resolutions, all highly critical of U.S. involvement in Libya. One such resolution was put forward by Representative Michael Turner of Ohio, labeling the U.S. intervention in Libya as a violation of the 1973 War Powers resolution, which requires Congressional approval for any military operation that lasts longer than 60 days. Representative Dennis Kucinich also put forward a resolution calling for the withdrawal of U.S. support from the NATO mission in Libya within fifteen days. On Thursday, Kucinich sent a letter to his colleagues in the House to “defend the Constitution of the United States” by withdrawing from Libya, and expressed support for Turner’s resolution, but argued that it did not go far enough, claiming that it “is the minimum that Congress must do to challenge the unconstitutional war in Libya... Congress must do more than just express its disapproval.”
Boehner successfully sidelined both with his own resolution that toned down some of the harsher language but sought a clear explanation from President Obama to “help the American people understand why these missions are vital to the national security interests of our country.” Despite his historically strong support for military missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, Boehner has recently been expressing reservations about military intervention in Libya, claiming that his fellow members of Congress are “a bit weary about the amount of money that is being spent.”
In response to the Boehner resolution, White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the administration has, “consulted with Congress every step of the way...” A statement by Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell expressed Defense Secretary Robert Gates’s concern that abandonment of the current NATO mission “would have dangerous long-term consequences.” Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Buck McKeon voiced similar concerns in a press conference on Wednesday.
Many of the detractors of the Libyan intervention, however, remain firm supporters of the military campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, despite the fact that the Libyan operation costs 80% less than either campaign, and has yet to result in a single American casualty.
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