Boehner gives Obama Friday deadline on Libya

Stepping up a simmering constitutional conflict, House Speaker John A. Boehner warned President Obama on Tuesday that unless he gets authorization from Congress for his military deployment in Libya, he will be in violation of the War Powers Resolution.

In a letter sent Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Boehner, the top Republican in the constitutional chain of succession, said Mr. Obama must provide a clear justification for committing troops to Libya by Friday. Sunday marks the 90th day since the president notified Congress that U.S. troops had been committed to help enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, which is designed to protect the rebels fighting Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s government.

In a letter sent Tuesday afternoon, Mr. Boehner, the top Republican in the constitutional chain of succession, said Mr. Obama must provide a clear justification for committing troops to Libya by Friday, which marks the 90th day since the president committed U.S. troops, and the clock started ticking under the War Powers Resolution.

“The Constitution requires the president to ‘take care that the laws be faithfully executed,’ and one of those laws is the War Powers Resolution, which requires an approving action by Congress or withdrawal within 90 days from the notification of a military operation,” Mr. Boehner said in the letter.

washingtontimes.com/news/2011/jun/14/boehner-gives-obama-friday-deadline-libya/

Dear Mr. President:

Five days from now, our country will reach the 90-day mark from the notification to Congress regarding the commencement of the military operation in Libya, which began on March 18, 2011. On June 3, 2011, the House passed a resolution which, among other provisions, made clear that the Administration has not asked for, nor received, Congressional authorization of the mission in Libya. 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 authorization from Congress or withdraws all U.S. troops and resources from the mission.

Since the mission began, the Administration has provided tactical operational briefings to the House of Representatives, but the White House has systematically avoided requesting a formal authorization for its action. It has simultaneously sought, however, to portray that its actions are 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.

You took an oath before the American people on January 20, 2009 in which you swore to “faithfully execute the Office of President” and to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” The Constitution requires the President to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed,” and one of those laws is the War Powers Resolution, which requires an approving action by Congress or withdrawal within 90 days from the notification of a military operation. Given the mission you have ordered to the U.S. Armed Forces with respect to Libya and the text of the War Powers Resolution, the House is left to conclude that you have made one of two determinations: either you have concluded the War Powers Resolution does not apply to the mission in Libya, or you have determined the War Powers Resolution is contrary to the Constitution. The House, and the American people whom we represent, deserve to know the determination you have made.

Therefore, on behalf of the institution and the American people, I must ask you the following questions: Have you or your Administration conducted the legal analysis to justify your position as to whether your Administration views itself to be in compliance with the War Powers Resolution so that it may continue current operations, absent formal Congressional support or authorization, once the 90-day mark is reached? Assuming you conducted that analysis, was it with the consensus view of all stakeholders of the relevant Departments in the Executive branch? In addition, has there been an introduction of a new set of facts or circumstances which would have changed the legal analysis the Office of Legal Counsel released on April 1, 2011? Given the gravity of the constitutional and statutory questions involved, I request your answer by Friday, June 17, 2011.

From the beginning, the House of Representatives has sought to balance two equal imperatives regarding Libya which have been in direct contradiction: the House of Representatives takes seriously America’s leadership role in the world; our country’s interests in the region; and the commitments to and from its steadfast allies. At the same time, strong concern and opposition exists to the use of military force when the military mission, by design, cannot secure a U.S. strategic policy objective. The ongoing, deeply divisive debate originated with a lack of genuine consultation prior to commencement of operations and has been further exacerbated by the lack of visibility and leadership from you and your Administration.

I respect your authority as Commander-in-Chief, though I remain deeply concerned the Congress has not been provided answers from the Executive branch to fundamental questions regarding the Libya mission necessary for us to fulfill our equally important Constitutional responsibilities. I believe in the moral leadership our country can and should exhibit, especially during such a transformational time in the Middle East. I sincerely hope the Administration will faithfully comply with the War Powers Resolution and the requests made by the House of Representatives, and that you will use your unique authority as our President to engage the American people regarding our mission in Libya.

Respectfully,
John A. Boehner

blogs.abcnews.com/politicalpunch/2011/06/boehner-warns-obama-to-act-by-sunday-or-risk-violating-war-powers-act.html

Tsk, tsk. In warmonger Obama’s rush to war, he failed to consult Congress. It’s no wonder that anti-war, Catholic Democrats have all abandoned him.

Oh wait…they haven’t?

This is an old constitutional fight between the POTUS and the congress. However, a 3 month war without congressional approval seems to be unconstitutional to me. Congress being the body of the people having the sole right to declare war seems not only to be the founder’s intent, but also written pretty clearly in the constitution.

If Obama wants to spend the funds, he could fight it up to the Supreme Court and we will all know what is or is not constitutional.

From what I understand the law of ninety days was passed by a Democratic Congress in the times of Nixon’s fall from grace. All presidents since have never agreed to the constitutionality of the law, but jumped through the hoops anyway as a matter of professional courtesy.

The real power of course lies not just in initiating military action, but in having Congress agree to fund any ongoing action.

Boehner has the hammer here, and it is proper that he should use it. If a war is worth killing people over, the POTUS really ought to be able to make his case to the American people through Congress.
Weasel words such as ‘kinetic action’, but not war are rather obnoxious and insulting to the country as a whole. Good that Boehner is ready to hold the president’s feet to the fire over this.

I don’t think Boehner has any hammer at all. He can’t cut off funding because Democrats rule the Senate. The “anti-war Democrats” will back Obama because, well, he is well on his way to having a billion dollars plus in his kitty, and he’s their guy anyway. So, Obama will get on TV and mouth some platitudes about saving lives, working with our “allies” and the UN and the Arab League (sorta) and that will be that. And the media will say Obama’s right no matter what he says (or even if he says nothing at all) and likely most people will accept it.

I don’t dislike Boehner, but his efforts in this case aren’t worth a thimble of warm spit. Still, I can’t blame him for at least saying it. Obama just plain started a war because he wanted to start one. Remember the “Bush Doctrine” (supposedly, preemptive war)? What’s the Obama Doctrine? That we go to war if he wants us to?

I don’t know the intricacies of American politics. I was kind of thinking that a spending bill would have to pass both houses of Congress and Boehner might act as a spoiler.

The “anti-war Democrats” will back Obama because, well, he is well on his way to having a billion dollars plus in his kitty, and he’s their guy anyway. So, Obama will get on TV and mouth some platitudes about saving lives, working with our “allies” and the UN and the Arab League (sorta) and that will be that. And the media will say Obama’s right no matter what he says (or even if he says nothing at all) and likely most people will accept it.

The one thing that I have learned on these forums is that the left from the top on down, and from the bottom up, have no principles whatsoever.

I don’t dislike Boehner, but his efforts in this case aren’t worth a thimble of warm spit. Still, I can’t blame him for at least saying it. Obama just plain started a war because he wanted to start one. Remember the “Bush Doctrine” (supposedly, preemptive war)? What’s the Obama Doctrine? That we go to war if he wants us to?

The thing about Kadaffi is that he gave up his weapons of mass destruction program while people like Assads in Syria, who have slaughtered more people than Kaddafi ever dreamed of killing, are lauded as ‘reformers’ by Clinton and the Obama administration.

I don’t think that Obama really has any foreign policy, except to gripe at Israel once in a while, just like so many western professors are prone to do.

If Khadaffi had kept his nukes, then we would not be bombing him.

Here’s the question, will Obama bomb Israel?

There is always been a question as to whether the war Powers act was constitutional or not. Every president since Nixon has made at least token attempts to comply with that but firmly stating they did not have to. Obama is no different in his predecessors in that.

Here’s another question: will Obama bomb Iran?

No on Iran. No on Israel.

No on Iran because he would be afraid to do it.

No on Israel because he would be afraid to do it WITH GOOD REASON.

Rand Paul: The Libya war is unconstitutional

So … what happened?

i have had a really busy week and haven’t kept up with the news. i did not realize that there was a friday deadline. i ask the same question? what happened? was the deadline met or ignored?

Apparently, we aren’t involved in any “hostilities” in Libya…

forums.catholic.com/showpost.php?p=8003645&postcount=1

Lawyer presidents. :rolleyes:

I guess it depends on your definition of “hostilities.”

Given that the description of what constitutes hostilities is so clearly laid out in the legislation, this is all just double speak by the same administration that gave us such gems as ‘overseas contingencies’, and ‘man-made disasters’.

I would think that the point where double-speak becomes outright falsification and lying has been fully passed with the latest gems from the POTUS.

What is going on in Libya is not “bombing” or “war” … is “kinetic activity” … remember that.

Kinetics.

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