Saturday, April 16, 2011

Senators want limited US action in Libya

Source: Press TV

A number of American senators have proposed a resolution which requires congressional approval for any further military action against Libya.

Republican senators John Ensign and Kay Bailey Hutchison drafted a measure on Thursday which states that President Barack Obama "should obtain authorization from Congress before providing further military and financial support to operations in Libya," AFP reported.

The resolution outlines that military action in Libya is "not in the vital interests of the United States," adding that NATO member states and other nations should burden the majority of financial costs and carry out most military strikes before the US provides more support.

However, senators opposing the resolution said the US war in Libya was legal and that Obama has the right to delegate authority over the matter under the War Powers Act.

Under the Act, the president has 48 hours to notify Congress that the US wishes to go to war, and it has 60 days from the attack to withdraw its troops.

Obama notified congressional leaders about the Libya war on March 21, which means the 60-day mark would be on May 20.

Democrats John Kerry and Carl Levin as well as Republican John McCain are working on another resolution in support of Obama's attack on Libya.

"We've pretty well got the resolution nailed down and now we're discussing with the leaders as to whether we need to vote and, if so, when," said McCain.

According to the Constitution, Congress has the right to declare war, though US presidents, through executive rights, have often ordered an attack without initially getting Congressional approval.

Last month, under a UN no-fly zone mandate, NATO began air assaults on Libya, with reports saying that scores of civilians have been killed in the campaign.

The current UN resolution makes no mention of regime change in Libya.

However, Obama, along with the British prime minister and the French president, have said NATO must maintain military operations until Gaddafi is ousted.

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