House bringing up the rear on Libya

Well after the 90 time limit for President Obama to bring US troops home since he didn’t have Congressional approval under the War Powers Act, the House is looking at either approving or ending the Libya mission.  Welcome to the party folks, but the truth is that President Obama should have already brought the troops home from this one.

From The Hill:

Whether either resolution will have the support to pass the House is unclear. While the House has come close to blocking funds for the mission in recent weeks, a measure authorizing the operation could draw support from Republicans whose concerns have focused on the lack of congressional input.

The House is also likely to consider separate proposals to restrict funding for the Libya campaign as part of a Defense appropriations bill this week.

[Emphasis mine]

The truth is that Congress really only has one option, and that’s to order the cessation of all military activities connected with Libyan operations, even in a support capacity.  I’m fine with stipulations that permit US personnel to intervene in search and rescue activities in international waters, things like that, but nothing more.  Failure to do so will set a dangerous precedent that future presidents may seize and use in violation of the law.

President Obama engaged in military operations without Congressional approval for over 60 days.  By law, he had an additional 30 days to bring troops home.  He didn’t.  House Republicans, if the choose to allow authorization at this point in time, will effectively say “Oh, it’s not a problem.  Laws don’t apply to the President, even when the explicitly say they do” and permit him to continue his activities.

What President Obama has done in regard to Libya is unprecedented, but unless Congress acts to curb this behavior, it won’t be the last time a President starts military action against a sovereign nation without Congressional approval.  I can promise you that.

The Founding Fathers didn’t want the President to have the power to declare war for a reason.  One man may act in the heat of the moment and set this nation down a path of destruction.  In order to prevent that, they placed that power in the hands of the Congress.  There has bee no constitutional amendment passing that power to the President, so it still rests there.

This time, the House needs to step up and require the President to end all hostilities against Libya.


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