Webb wants answers from Obama on Libya

Capital Land,David Sherfinski

U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., who has strongly — and repeatedly — questioned the United States’ presence in Libya, introduced a joint resolution Wednesday requiring the Obama administration to justify U.S. military operations there.

The resolution, introduced with Sen. Bob Corker, R-TN, would also prohibit ground troops from being deployed in the conflict and calls for an unclassified report to provide information to Congress and the public about the operation.

“When we examine the conditions under which the President ordered our military into action in Libya, we are faced with the prospect of a very troubling historical precedent that has the potential to haunt us for decades,” said Senator Webb. “The issue for us to consider is whether a President — any President — can unilaterally begin, and continue, a military campaign for reasons that he alone defines as meeting the demanding standards worthy of risking American lives and expending billions of dollars of our taxpayers’ money. It is important for Congress to step in and clearly define the boundaries of our involvement.”

The War Powers Act of 1973 stipulates that if the president starts military action without Congress’s approval, they have to end it within 60 days absent congression approval or a national emergency. American and European forces began strikes in the country in late March, though the Obama administration has maintained that it is a NATO-led operation.

The U.S. House has passed a similar resolution introduced by House Speaker John Boehner, R-OH, while rejecting one from Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-OH, that called for the president to remove troops from the country.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday the administraton would respond to Boehner’s resolution, while stressing that the White House has been in constant consultations with Congress regarding the operation.

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