Friday, June 17, 2011

US House raps WH Libya report

Republican US House Speaker John Boehner

Source: Press TV

US House Speaker John Boehner has lashed out at the White House for saying that it is does not need congressional authorization to continue the war in Libya.

Boehner said the White House claims do not "pass the straight face test," and threatened to cut military funding for the war by stating that the House possesses "the power of the purse," Reuters reported Thursday.

He made the remarks in response to an earlier 32-page report submitted to Congress in which the US President Barack Obama administration argued that the Libyan mission was not subject to the 1973 War Powers Act because the US is playing a support role in the war.

"U.S. operations do not involve sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces, nor do they involve the presence of U.S. ground troops, U.S. casualties or a serious threat thereof, or any significant chance of escalation into a conflict characterized by those factors," the White House report said.

According to the War Powers Act, a US president has a maximum of 60 days to maintain armed forces in military action, with an additional 30-day withdrawal period, without requiring authorization from Congress.

Earlier this month, the US House voted to censure Obama for not seeking congressional approval and accused the US president of not providing a “compelling rationale” for the military campaign in Libya. The House's resolution also demanded that information be provided about the costs and scope of the mission.

The US plays a significant role in the Western coalition operations in Libya by carrying out airstrikes, refueling warplanes and providing intelligence.

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