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  • Will Congress Stand Together on Libya?

    After backpedaling on debating S. Res. 194, a resolution on the use of U.S. military force and operations in Libya, Senator John Kerry (D–MA), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has finally decided to hold a meeting this Thursday to mark up the resolution.

    The House of Representatives took the lead two weeks ago by passing a resolution prohibiting ground troops and demanding more details on U.S. operations in Libya. While the resolution is nonbinding, it did increase the pressure on the Senate to follow suit, especially since the resolution was supported by 45 Democrats. The White House claims, however, that it will “endeavor to answer” all questions about the intervention, but that promise remains unkept.

    Congress needs to insist that the Obama Administration engage with lawmakers and reach an agreement on a strategy in Libya. But time is running out as Congressional members become increasingly agitated by the Administration’s lack of strategy and engagement. According to Heritage’s James Carafano, “More and more lawmakers seem to coming to the opinion that the president’s Libyan ‘strategy’ is little more than hope—and they don’t like it.”

    The White House ought to be held responsible for not consulting Congress from the outset of this affair. American forces should be used only to protect vital national interests in concert with a clearly defined strategy. After 10 weeks, both of those standards remain unmet. But since the U.S. is involved, Congress should be wary of invoking the withdrawal provision of the War Powers Resolution, which would bring unconstitutional constraints on President Obama. Likewise, the U.S. should continue to support its allies who are fighting in harm’s way.

    Towards this purpose, Carafano proposes the following four steps:

    1.)    Rebuke the President for failing to adequately consult Congress on the Libyan intervention;

    2.)    Demand that the President clarify the intent and scope of U.S. operations and propose a suitable, feasible, and acceptable path forward;

    3.)    Consider withholding funds for operations in the future if, after careful consideration, a majority of Congress concludes that ongoing operations are not in U.S. interests; and

    4.)    Weigh carefully any actions for how they may impact on the safety of allied forces.

    As the Senate Foreign Relations Committee debates a resolution on Libya this week, it ought to keep these suggestions in mind. House Speaker John Boehner (R–OH) has provided an example in leadership. The question now is whether the Senate will follow Boehner’s example and demonstrate real leadership to the American people.

    Jake Wilson is in the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation. For more information on interning at Heritage, please visit: http://www.heritage.org/about/departments/ylp.cfm

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Will Congress Stand Together on Libya?

    1. George Colgrove, VA says:

      We need to get out of this war before we are mired in it – indefinitely. This has no strategic value to the US. We are falling fast into a debt that will be virtually impossible to pay back if we get engaged in many more of these.

      Including our current engagement in Yemen, could Obama and his inept and "unworkable" federal workforce at the Pentagon be purposely spreading our soldiers and equipment too thin? For a president and a federal workforce so dedicated in destroying America, it is not a big leap to make such a conclusion. Feds are feds regardless where they grab their fat biweekly bribe check from.

      Jake is a promising future leader and his skepticism on the Libyan war is welcoming from Heritage. We need clarity and we need some 'splaining from this corrupt federal government. Carafano points are well taken and should be considered in evaluating Libya.

      I agree Boehner has shown some good leadership here, but he should have done more. He should have stopped the funding and force the return of our troops to our shores.

      Good post Jake.

    2. jweb says:

      It's truly amazing. Why is Congress staging this event? Is it not because of the pressure from the people? Why does it take the outcry of the people for weeks on end before Congress speaks out against the tyrannical government? The right and left are controlled by the same international banksters. Our portrayed potical system is theater. Our last real president was William McKinley, and when JFK turned to the bright side, he had his brains dumped out in Texas. Most nations go to war over that. Not us, we went to the movies and stadiums and porn shops and casinos. Our nation is in a state of dependancy. The next step is bondage. We have not been good stewards of our nation. May God and the 20,000+ soldiers that spilled their blood in the 13 colonies during the Revolution find it in their hearts to forgive us of our wickedness.

      My prediction is that the congressional Libya stand will work out much like the budget cuts…again, mere theatrics. They pledged the Tea Party movement 100 billion would be cut. Who won that debate? Obama? No, the puppeteers did. The bigger story is QE3. It needs to stop. Obama is not the enemy of freedom, his bosses are. Direct the anger to the proper target.

    3. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      To answer the question in the title, NO! Congress will not "stand together on Libya". The Dems will continue to support the action only because it's Obama's war. Most Repbs and Boehner don't have the balls to stand up. Obama continues to by-pass Congress by EO, or just completely disregarding and ignoring. I'm sure Boehner's letter demanding response is already hanging

      in the tolit stall for Obama to use to finish the job. And what will Boehner do?


    4. christopher says:

      when when when

      when will we learn????

      when will we stop being the cops of the world????

      when do we start taking care of our economy before helping other nations while some of those nations are not our allies ?????

      we need too pull somer teeth on sending troops out/

      how many wars do we want to be in??????

      bullets and beans are very exspensive. when we are not we are not we are not taking care of our elderly and young children and and our own handicapped.

      what does that mean????

      a poor man cant afford meds and insulin

      children do not get dental or medical help when mom and dad are broke or too poor.

      we are ashamed of the way we do not help and take c are of our elderly.

      costs money so where does the money come from????

      not any of the money obama has handed out.

      survey says get out of these wars and countrys that do not want us or help us.


      survey says it will be longer then ten years too pay off the money spent on wars.

      from a disabled veteran who cares

      take care


    5. Pingback: Rebuttal to White House report attempting to defend actions in Libya

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