House Speaker John Boehner told president Obama Tuesday that without Congressional approval for deploying troops to Libya the president will be in violation of the War Powers Resolution.
According to the Washington Times, Boehner sent a letter to the president Tuesday afternoon reminding him the deadline for clear justification of U.S. involvement in Libya is due Friday.
Basing his argument on the War Powers Resolution of 1973, Boehner maintains the President may commit U.S. forces to combat for only 60 days without Congressional approval.
An additional 30 days can be used for withdrawal, but without a declaration of war, a nod from Congress is the only way to legally commit U.S.troops to extended combat.
While the Obama administration is complying with Congress’ request for a full report of ongoing U.S. efforts in Libya by the end of the week, they also point out they’re not required to do so.
The White House has been arguing for months that NATO is spearheading the Libyan assault and consequently the president doesn’t need to ask Congress for anything.
The bottom line here, though, is that this is fundamental separation of powers stuff, and there’s a major dispute between The White House, and the most important member of Congress.
Secretary of defence Robert Gates said last week that the U.S. is shouldering the heaviest load in NATO, and that America now sends extra munitions to the campaign along with providing additional personnel to man the Naples intelligence base that coordinates surveillance in the region.
Boehner and the President are scheduled to play 18 holes of golf on Saturday to talk about the debt limit, but with Sunday marking the 90th day of Libyan involvement, it’s likely the report will play into their conversation.
All of this comes on the heels of a Ramrussen report out Tuesday that shows only 26% of Americans support continued military action in Libya, and 59% think the president should get congressional approval.
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