Friday, June 24, 2011

Westmoreland: Resolutions a ‘Backdoor Approval’ of President’s Unauthorized Actions in Libya

Today, the House voted on two separate resolutions regarding President Obama’s actions in Libya. The first was H.J.Res. 68, which would have authorized the limited use of US forces in support of the NATO mission to Libya. The second bill, H.R. 2278, would have limited the mission in Libya to search and rescue, intelligence and surveillance, aerial refueling, and operation planning. Congressman Westmoreland did not support either resolutions, and both failed by large margins. Below is Congressman Westmoreland’s statement on his opposition.

“I appreciate that my colleagues are attempting to set some limitations on President Obama’s unauthorized actions in Libya. However, in this case, limitations are simply not enough. The president has violated the War Powers Resolution by committing American military resources to a civil war in Libya without Congressional approval. Passing a resolution that gives the president some wiggle room only justifies his earlier actions and gives him a backdoor approval of his complete disregard for the law and the Constitutional authority of Congress.

“According to the White House’s own numbers, America’s expenses in Libya will top $1.1 billion by September 30, 2011. And since the president has still not laid out a long-term plan for operations in Libya, there seems to be no end in sight for these expenses. While the president is asking Congress to up the limit on his credit card by raising the national debt another $2 trillion, he is spending billions of dollars in a conflict in a country that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says is not a ‘vital interest’ for America.. I know that Muammar Gadaffi has committed countless atrocities against his own people. But we cannot involve ourselves in every conflict around the world. We don’t have the manpower nor do we have the resources. President Obama needs to immediately halt his unauthorized actions in Libya and follow the law by asking for approval and funding from Congress,” stated Westmoreland.

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