Boehner To Obama: You Have Until Friday To Get Congressional Authorization For Libya
In Libya, President Obama has taken America to war without the consent of Congress and without even complying with the War Powers Resolution which allows the President to make war for up to 90 days without the approval of Congress should there be a threat to the country or its interests.
In other words, the President has been ignoring the Constitution. Yet, so far Congress has been lax in calling the President to task over this. Now, though Speaker John Boehner has issued the President an ultimatum telling him that he has until Friday to explain why he seems to be ignoring the War Powers Resolution, specifically (read Speaker Boehner’s full letter here).
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.
“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.
This isn’t quite the showdown the Washington Times article is making it out to be. At this point, boiled down, all Boehner is asking Obama to do is explain what his position is on the law. Though that is the first step in challenging the President’s actions in Libya.
But the violation of the law seems obvious. The War Powers Resolution allows that the President can go to war only when the nation has been attacked. We were not attacked in Libya. What’s more, the 90 day time window for making war in Libya will have closed by Friday with not a hint that the President will be asking for Congress to approve the war.
Either we have a king, who can take America to war whenever he wants to with no check on his war-making power from Congress, or we have an elected President of a republic who does have checks on his authority.
If Obama is allowed by this Congress to make war without the consent of Congress, it will yet another blow to the constitutional foundation of this country.Tags: Barack Obama, john boehner, libya, war powers resolution