Speaker wants legal basis for US Libyan mission

John Boehner said that without the congressional approval, the American mission in Libya will be in violation of the War Powers Resolution of 1973.

Last Updated: Jun 15, 2011, 19:32 PM IST

Washington: Speaker of the US House of
Representatives John Boehner has told President Barack Obama
that without the congressional approval, the American mission
in Libya will be in violation of the War Powers Resolution of
1973.

Boehner, who shot off a letter to Obama on Tuesday,
also demanded that he provide a legal justification for the
operation in Libya by Friday.

The Ohio Republican said that earlier this month the
House had passed a resolution stating explicitly that the
administration has not sought or received authorisation from
Congress.

"Therefore, it would appear that in five days, the
administration will be in violation of the War Powers
Resolution unless it asks for and receives authorisation from
Congress or withdraws all US troops and resources from the
mission," Boehner wrote.

"Since the mission, the Administration has provided
tactical operational briefings to the House of
Representatives, but the White House has systematically
avoided requesting a formal authorisation for its action.

He accused the actions of Obama Administration to be
"consistent with the War Powers Resolution".

"The combination of these actions has left many
Members of Congress, as well as the American people,
frustrated by the lack of clarity over the Administration`s
strategic policies, by a refusal to acknowledge and respect
the role of the Congress, and by a refusal to comply with the
basic tenets of the War Powers Resolution," Boehner said.

Responding to Boehner`s letter, White House national
security spokesman Tommy Vietor said, "We are in the final
stages of preparing extensive information for the House and
Senate that will address a whole host of issues about our
ongoing efforts in Libya, including those raised in the House
resolution as well as our legal analysis with regard to the
War Powers Resolution."

"Since March, Administration witnesses have testified
at over 10 hearings that included a substantial discussion of
Libya and we will continue to consult with our Congressional
colleagues," Vietor said.

PTI