News / USA

White House Responds to Criticisms on Libya

President Obama (r) and Speaker of the U.S. House of Reprentatives John Boehner (file photos)
President Obama (r) and Speaker of the U.S. House of Reprentatives John Boehner (file photos)

The White House pushed back Thursday on criticisms from members of Congress of a lengthy explanation sent to Capitol Hill about the legality of U.S. involvement in military operations in Libya.  

In its more than 30 page submission to Congress, the White House again asserted that the War Powers Resolution of 1973 does not apply to U.S. involvement in what is now a largely NATO-led military operation in Libya.

The 1973 War Powers Resolution prohibits the military from being involved in actions for more than 60 days without congressional authorization, with a 30-day extension.   Operations in Libya are nearing the 90 day point.

The administration document contained details about a range of operations U.S. forces are involved in, including Libya but also Afghanistan, Iraq as well as peacekeeping operations in Kosovo.

President Obama described U.S. involvement in Libya as a supporting role, though he mentioned strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, in support of NATO operations protecting civilians from actions by forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

On Thursday, Republican Speaker of the U.S. House of Reprentatives John Boehner made clear he doesn't accept the White House explanation that the Libya mission is not endangering the U.S. military and therefore does not require formal approval by Congress.

"The White House says there are no hostilities taking place," said Boehner. "Yet we have got drone attacks underway, we are spending $10 million a day, we're part of an effort to drop bombs on Gadhafi's compounds.  It doesn't past the straight face test in my view that we are not in the midst of hostilities."

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Mr. Obama "simply disagrees", and revealed that the president, who is a constitutional lawyer, was directly involved in drafting the legal explanation and in Carney's words, "owns this document."

Carney repeated the administration's position that it is in compliance with the War Powers Resolution, because no U.S. ground troops are involved, and U.S. forces are not engaged in the kind of hostilities envisioned by the resolution.

On a potential step by Congressman Boehner to pursue legislative steps to cut off funding for Libyan operations, Carney urged lawmakers not to "send mixed messages" about the importance of a mission the White House asserts has so far been successful.

"That success is something that members of Congress, even those who have concern, would acknowledge, and the importance of continuing that mission is I think something that a majority of Congress supports," said Carney.

House Minority Leader, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, said she was still reviewing the classified portion of the administration's report, but said she is satisfied with Mr. Obama's explanation of the limited nature of current U.S. involvement in Libya.

"I believe the limited nature of this engagement allows the president to go forward," said Pelosi.

The White House said again on Thursday that the administration would support a resolution by or one similar to a measure Republican Senator John McCain and Democrat John Kerry plan to introduce that would authorize limited use of military force in Libya.

McCain on Thursday challenged what he called a "confusing" approach by the administration on Libya, but urged lawmakers including members of his own party not to withdraw support for the NATO operation.

"The goal for all of us here in this body, Democrats and Republican alike, should not be to cut and run from Libya, but to assure that we succeed," said McCain.

Senator McCain said the bipartisan resolution would be introduced soon, adding it is important for the U.S. Senate to "go on record" as authorizing operations in Libya, which he said do constitute a "state of hostilities."  

You May Like

Pundits Split Over Long-Term US Role in Afghanistan

Security pact remains condition for American presence beyond 2014; deadline criticized More

US Eyes Islamic State Threat

Officials warn that IS could pose a threat to US homeland More

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Moscow says Russian troops crossed into Ukrainian territory by mistake More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocksi
X
George Putic
August 25, 2014 4:00 PM
How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ukraine: Captured Troops Proof of Russian Role in Separatist Fight

Ukrainian officials say they have captured Russian soldiers on Ukrainian territory -- the latest accusation of Moscow's involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the Ukrainian side of the battle, where soldiers are convinced of Russia's role.
Video

Video Rubber May Soon Come From Dandelions

Synthetic rubber has been around for more than a century, but quality tires for cars, trucks and aircraft still need up to 40 percent or more natural rubber content. As the source of natural rubber, the rubber tree, is prone to disease and can be affected by bad weather. So scientists are looking for replacements. And as VOA’s George Putic reports, they may have found one in a ubiquitous weed.
Video

Video Jewish Life in Argentina Reflected in Yiddish Tango

Jewish people from across Europe and Russia have been immigrating to Argentina for hundreds of years. They brought with them dance music that was eventually mixed with Argentine tango. The result is Yiddish tango -- a fusion of melodies and cultural experiences that is still evolving today. Elizabeth Lee reports on how one band is bringing Yiddish tango to Los Angeles.
Video

Video Peace Returns to Ferguson as Community Tries to Heal

Thousands of people nationwide are expected to attend funeral services Monday in the U.S. Midwestern city of St. Louis, Missouri, for Michael Brown, the unarmed African-American teenager who was fatally shot by a white police officer August 9 in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson. The shooting touched off days of violent demonstrations there, resulting in more than 100 arrests. VOA's Chris Simkins reports from Ferguson where the community is trying to move on after weeks of racial tension.
Video

Video Meeting in Minsk May Hinge on Putin Story

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are expected to meet face-to-face Tuesday in Minsk, along with European leaders, for talks on the situation in Ukraine. Political analysts say the much welcomed dialogue could help bring an end to months of deadly clashes between pro-Russia separatists and Ukrainian forces in the country's southeast. But much depends on the actions of one man, Russian President Vladimir Putin. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Artists Shun Russia's Profanity Law

Russia in July enacted a law threatening fines for publicly displayed profanity in media, films, literature, music and theater. The restriction, the toughest since the Soviet era, aims to protect the Russian language and culture and has been welcomed by those who say cursing is getting out of control. But many artists reject the move as a patronizing and ineffective act of censorship in line with a string of conservative morality laws. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video British Fighters on Frontline of ISIS Information War

Security services are racing to identify the Islamic State militant who beheaded U.S. journalist James Foley in Syria. The murderer spoke English on camera with a British accent. It’s estimated that several hundred British citizens are fighting for the Islamic State, also called ISIL or ISIS, alongside thousands of other foreign jihadists. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from the center of the investigation in London.

AppleAndroid