Congress Showing War Weariness on Libya
By Matt Southworth on 06/03/2011 @ 11:10 PM
Today, the House will consider two resolutions on Libya. One, offered by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (OH), calls into question the legality of the Libya operation under War Powers Resolution, requiring the U.S. to pull out troops and assets within 15 days. The other, offered by Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (OH), would prohibit ground troops from being deployed to Libya.
The effort comes only one week after the House overwhelmingly passed an amendment offered by Rep. John Conyers (MI) to prevent the deployment of troops to Libya on the NDAA by a vote of 416-5. Initially, Mr. Kucinich’s resolution, H Con. Res. 51, was supposed to be considered by the House on Wednesday this week. House leadership pulled the bill from the schedule because, as one Hill staffer said when asked if it could pass, “honestly, we don't know.”
The uncertainty is largely due to the undeniable fact that the Obama administration is now in clear violation of the War Powers Resolution of 1973. The White House originally misused the 60 days provision to justify forgoing Congressional approval for the Libya operation, which started on March 19th. The NATO led operation, which has dropped over 4,000 bombs in Libya, has now been underway for 75 days.
Speaker Boehner’s resolution, H. Res. 292, is redundant, as it essentially calls for the same policy Rep. Conyers’ amendment did last week. Some are speculating that, over fears that H. Con. Res 51 could pass, House leadership decided to offer a "safe" resolution as an alternative to the Kucinich resolution.
Regardless of the motives, the House is poised to send another strong signal to the White House for the second week in a row. Not only is a third ground war in a war fatigued Congress unacceptable, Congress could force the President to disengage from the Libyan civil war.
Ultimately, the Senate-which is presently contemplating a measure offered by Sens. John McCain (AZ) and Carl Levin (MI) to authorize the Libya operation-would have to take the bill up and pass it over a possible Presidential Veto in order for the measure to become law.
Using FCNL's toll free number (1-888-231-9276), call your Representative before the vote this afternoon; express your support for both H. Con. Res 51 and H. Res. 292.
Update: H. Res. 292 passed (268-145) and H. Con. Res 51 failed to pass (148-265) in the House on Friday, June 03. It is presently unclear whether or not the Senate will move forward on this legislation. FCNL is currently working in coalition on a Senate effort to disengage and prevent any further expansion of U.S. military involvement in the Libyan civil war.