Boehner talks tough on Libya
Nearly three months after the United States joined NATO forces in bombing Libya and weeks after House Republicans effectively ceded any authority in dealing with the Obama Administration’s non-compliance with the War Powers Act, Speaker John Boehner is giving the president until Friday to justify our intervention…and he really means it this time:
House Speaker John Boehner on Tuesday warned President Obama that his administration would be in violation of the War Powers Resolution unless he seeks authorization from Congress for America’s military involvement in the NATO operations in Libya or the United States withdraws from those operations.
In a letter, Mr. Boehner requests that the president explain the legal grounds for failing to seek Congressional authorization in the 90 days since Mr. Obama informed Congress of the start of the mission in Libya; on Sunday, it will be 90 days since Congress was formally notified that the mission had begun.
“Since the mission began, the administration has provided tactical operational briefings to the House of Representatives, but the White House has systematically avoided requesting a formal authorization for its action,” the letter reads. Mr. Boehner further states, “I remain deeply concerned the Congress has not been provided answers from the executive branch to fundamental questions regarding the Libya mission necessary for us to fulfill our equally important constitutional responsibilities.”
House Republicans passed a measure nearly two weeks ago barring the use of ground forces in Libya. Unfortunately, GOP leadership opted to push down an effort to require President Obama to cease military operations in a matter of days; although 87 Republicans voted for it.
The White House is planning to give Congress more details about our involvement, but whether they’ll offer any exit strategy for an operation that has cost much more than anticipated is anyone’s guess.
Boehner needs to do more than just offer empty threats. He’s not going to do anything. He could have taken action already if he wanted to in either approving President Obama’s decision to involve ourselves in an unnecessary war or to force him to withdraw.
While there have been more Republicans taking a stand against operations like Libya, I’m still skeptical that the party as a whole is anything but committed to neoconservative foreign policy and the nation that a president can do whatever he wants to do and the Congress is nothing more than a rubber stamp.