Although some people disagree, I think the President does have the right to engage in a mission like Libya without getting Congressional approval first. I also think the “War Powers” Act is dubiously constitutional.
That being said, the President does have a Constitutional obligation to get approval from Congress before going to “war.” He also has a moral obligation to get the support of Congress on missions like Libya. Sure, he might be able to make the argument that the situation demanded he act immediately, but there’s certainly no legitimate argument for refusing to go back and get authorization for continuing operations in Libya at this point.
Yet and still, Barack Obama has refused to do so. Dennis Kucinich isn’t having any of that.
Seeking to avoid a showdown over Libya, House GOP leaders have pulled back from a floor vote on a resolution by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) that would bar U.S. involvement in the NATO-led campaign to topple Muammar Qadhafi.
GOP leaders were scrambling on Wednesday morning to come up with an alternative plan for considering the measure. These could include having the Armed Services or Foreign Affairs committees draft back-up proposals.
Citing “lots of unrest on both sides of the aisle,” a senior House GOP aide said Republican leaders are still working through their options.
Another senior Republican staffer said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) “is concerned that if this were to come to the floor now, it would pass” and could adversely affect the NATO mission in Libya. NATO leaders on Tuesday authorized the contination of the military campaign against Qhadafi until September.
Boehner and other GOP leaders have called a special meeting of House Republicans on Thursday to discuss the Libya situation, aides said.
Kucinich’s resolution, introduced last week, “directs the president to remove the United States Armed Forces from Libya by not later than the date that is 15 days after the date of the adoption” of the measure. Reps. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) and Dan Burton (R-Ind.) are cosponsors of the resolution.
In a statement, Kucinich said he was “disappointed that the President and leadership feel the need to buy even more time to shore up support for the War in Libya. It’s not surprising that some are now wondering if a preliminary vote count on my resolution came out in favor of defending the Constitution.”
We should have never gotten involved in Libya in the first place. It was a poorly-thought-out decision to back the losing side of a civil war that could go on for years. Even if Gaddafi were killed tomorrow, we have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what kind of government could follow him. Could it be hostile to the United States? Yes. Could it be a pro-terrorist, radical Islamist theocracy? Sure. Could the nation split up into warring factions? Absolutely. Do we have the slightest idea how long we’ll be there or whether the United States will be better off without Gaddafi? No, we don’t.
It’s an ill-defined, endless mission that was a mistake from the get-go and if Obama can’t even be bothered to get the permission of Congress to continue the mission, then they shouldn’t bother to fund it.