“He cannot continue what he is doing in Libya without congressional authorization. When a president defiantly violates the law, that really undercuts our efforts to urge other countries to have the rule of law,” Sherman said. […] The War Powers Resolution passed in 1973 because of concerns about excess executive power in Vietnam. Congress approved it over President Nixon’s veto. – Is Obama about to break the law?
Is Rep. Sherman kidding? Congress long ago lost its power, so forgive me if I find this congressional caterwauling a bit silly. They’re not going to do anything, because they never do anything about any Executive overreach. Congress is feckless, because they don’t come close to representing the people. Every politician simply represents their own ideological bank.
“Make no mistake: Obama is breaking new ground, moving decisively beyond his predecessors,” Yale law professors Bruce Ackerman and Oona Hathaway wrote this week in the Washington Post.
The only thing that comes close is President Clinton’s military effort in Kosovo.
He failed to get congressional approval before the 60-day deadline was up. His administration argued that Congress had effectively authorized the mission by approving money for it, and the Kosovo conflict lasted 78 days.
The Obama administration doesn’t have that option with Libya, because the Pentagon is using existing money. Congress never specifically funded the mission.
Now, the administration is trying to figure out what to do.
Pres. Obama, a man who said he wasn’t going to be like Bush, is on the cusp of making the War Powers Act obsolete by simply ignoring it. Hey, but no worries, he’s the president so we can trust him.
The White House did not respond to requests for comment Thursday. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) is another vocal critic of the Libya intervention. He has vowed to introduce legislation Monday invoking the War Powers Act in an effort to pull U.S. forces from the conflict. “At home, people are being told to sacrifice their own quality of life because our government does not have sufficient resources for healthcare, education, retirement security and job creation,” Kucinich said. “Yet at the same time we are setting the stage for endless war which will bring ruin and poverty.” – Lawmakers largely silent on war powers authority in Libya