Friday, June 3, 2011
It does appear that the Republican controlled House is sending a message to President Obama about his involvement in Libya. The conflict there has been active now for over 60 days. The authority of the President to send forces to Libya was confirmed by Congress when it was believed that the United States needed to help protect the Libyan rebels who were being attacked and killed by superior military power from Moammar Gadhafi. The House has been watching the involvement of the United States in the attack on the Libyan military might of Moammar Gadhafi, but now are strongly criticizing the President in the conflict, claiming further involvement will break a federal law called "The War Powers Resolution of 1973". If the President is to follow this federal law, he now must start a withdrawal of forces, which would include an immediate cease of all combat operations, including the bombing of Moammar Gadhafi targets. Legally, the only way to continue in Libya now would be to declare war on Libya. The status of the conflict most likely does not constitute a valid reason to declare war, so most likely President Obama must pull back American forces.
Not all senators, including Republican John McCain believes that a resolution needs to be created in Congress so that the operations can continue, as McCain is in support of helping the Libyan rebels. He does not believe that the War Powers Act is constitutional, and that the United States needs to continue with the mission. But the leader of the House, Speaker John Boehner has introduced a resolution to rebuke President Obama's Libya policy, and force the President to withdraw the operations in support of the 1973 resolution. Today the house members voted 265-145 in the measure, that for what House Republicans claim is a lack of presidential deference to the legislative branch. As expected, the vote was split down party lines, as Republicans supported the measure and the Democrats did not support the measure. But in another separate measure the house members rejected a separate resolution that was submitted by Dennis Kucinich, Democrat from Ohio, calling for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the NATO-led military operation by a vote of 148-265.
So now I'm confused. The Republicans only seem to want to vote on what they want, the not vote favorably on anything the Democrats put on the table. At this point, the administration supports the resolution pushed by John McCain (republican Senator of Arizona}, and Democratic Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts.