Pelosi Confidant Says Obama Acted Outside Authority With No-Fly Zone

Mar 24, 2011 11:30am

ABC's Z. Byron Wolf reports:

Here’s an indication of how angry are Congressional Democrats that President Obama put the U.S. in the mix in Libya without consulting them:

A top Congressional confidant of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat Rep. George Miller, suggested this morning that President Obama acted outside his Presidential authority by engaging in military action without consulting Congress.

An MSNBC anchor asked Miller if he thinks the President acted with proper legal authority in taking military action.

“Well, I’m one of those people who believe that when you’re not defending the shores of the United State, you have an obligation to come to the Congress and ask for permission. So no, I don’t agree with that,” Miller said. He later said he thinks Obama would have gotten permission from Congress.

The White House did inform Congress that the action would take place, but there was not a long public debate about the consequences. But Miller said more should have been done.

“I don’t think there’s a lot of evidence that they sufficiently consulted the Congress,” said Miller. “The people in authority in the Armed Forces Committee, the Appropriations Committee, the Intelligence Committee, I don’t get any sense that they believe that they were fully consulted on this matter. And that’s disturbing to the rest of the Congress that relies on those individuals as conduits of information and the acts on the ground, as they have been told by the administration. So that’s a matter of real concern to the members."

Yesterday, Pelosi released a statement with tepid support for the action and made a point of adding, “U.S. participation is strengthened by the President’s continued consultation with Congress.”

On Wednesday there was also a hastily arranged and abruptly ended conference call by Senate Democrats expressing support for the no-fly zone.

Milller does not dispute that the U.S. was needed to get the no-fly zone in place or that the no-fly zone itself was needed to avoid slaughter.

"I think he’s right, there’s some things that only we could do in the beginning, in a technical sense, to help the air cover and to repel Gadhafi troops. But he has got to keep his pledge that we will now move to a supporting role. That doesn’t mean we will not be involved… Its very difficult, as events unfold, to get the hell out of there,” he said.

You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus