On Wednesday, Rooney introduced a resolution declaring that Obama is in violation of the War Powers Resolution, and requiring the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Libya unless Congress authorizes military action by June 19.
“President Obama is in clear violation of the War Powers Resolution, and he continues to ignore the role of Congress under the Constitution,” Rooney said. “My resolution reasserts the power of the legislative branch and tells the President that if he wants to fight a war in Libya, he needs to make his case to Congress.
“The President claims he does not need authorization because military action is ‘limited’ and led by NATO, but neither the Constitution nor the War Powers Resolution provide any illusion that if an act war is small or NATO-led, then it is not an act of war.
“The President’s initial pledge that military action in Libya would be over in ‘days, not weeks’ has been proven woefully inaccurate, as NATO Commanders just announced that the mission will continue for at least another three months. As the scope of this fight grows, our armed forces deserve a conversation between the President and Congress to explain why it’s critical to send them into harm’s way. Our taxpayers deserve to know how much we’re spending on this war and why it is in our national security interests.”
Meanwhile, the D.C. paper the Hill reports that Republican leaders postponed such a vote on Wednesday and will hold a special conference meeting today to discuss the issue.
That upset Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich, who was ready to have the House vote yesterday on calling on withdrawing U.S. action in Libya, now.
Kucinich says flatly Obama is violating the Constitution by failing to get authorization for the conflict after the 60 days that are allowed in the War Powers Act.
“The administration wants to postpone and avoid this deliberation; however, Congress cannot maintain its position as a coequal branch of government if it willingly forfeits the decisionmaking on matters of war and peace,” Kucinich said. “This is why it is important that this issue be brought forward for deliberation and a vote.”
Hillsborough area Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor told CL weeks ago that Obama needs to go before the Congress and get authorization. White House officials have tried to finesse a response as to why it's okay for the administration not to go before Congress, but most lawmakers from both parties don't like having their authority ignored.
The 60-day authorization deadline expired on May 20, and the 30-day withdrawal deadline expires on June 19.