With mounting opposition in Congress not only to the U.S. participation in the NATO mission in Libya, but also growing frustration among lawmakers with the way that the Obama Administration has handled justification for force there, the House of Representatives will vote Friday on two competing resolutions that aim to pressure the White House to seek Congressional authorization for the military intervention in Libya, or figure out how to disengage the U.S. armed forces from the NATO operation in Libya.
On Thursday afternoon, at the closed-door House Republican Conference meeting, House Speaker John Boehner unveiled a resolution that he wrote that essentially slaps President Obama on the wrist, declaring “the President has failed to provide Congress with a compelling rationale based upon United States national security interests for current United States military activities regarding Libya.”
The Boehner resolution would direct the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, and the Attorney General to transmit to the House “not later than 14 days after the date of the adoption of this resolution, copies of any official document, record, memo, correspondence, or other communication in the possession of each officer that was created on or after February 15, 2011, and refers or relates to 1) consultation or communication with Congress regarding the employment or deployment of the United States Armed Forces for Operation Odyssey Dawn or NATO Operation Unified Protector; or 2) the War Powers Resolution and Operation Odyssey Dawn or Operation Unified Protector.”
The resolution also states “that the President shall not deploy, establish, or maintain the presence of units and members of the United States Armed Forces on the ground in Libya, and for other purposes.”
The Boehner measure will come to the floor along with Rep. Dennis Kucinich’s resolution (which was prime to pass, but pulled from the floor earlier this week).
The Kucinich resolution would direct the president to remove U.S. armed forces from Libya within 15 days of passage.
According to a senior GOP aide, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor told President Obama at the White House Wednesday that he had “a problem on his hands with a bipartisan group of members who feel like they have not been informed of the U.S. mission, definition of success, and strategy in Libya,” fearing that if the Kucinich resolution passed it could initiate a dangerous ripple effect for the country’s national security initiatives.
Republican aides say the hope is that the Boehner resolution could convince enough Republicans to abandon support for the Kucinich resolution.
On Thursday, House Speaker John Boehner stated that “the Kucinich measure would have long-term consequences that are unacceptable, including a precipitous withdrawal from our role supporting our NATO allies in Libya – which could have serious consequences for our broader national security.”
“It would undermine our troops in harm’s way and undercut our allies who have stood by us in Afghanistan and other areas abroad,” Boehner, R-Ohio, stated. “Regardless of how we got here, we cannot suddenly turn our backs on our troops and our NATO partners who have stuck by us for the last 10 years.”
On his own resolution, Boehner says he has written the resolution because “the American people and members on both sides of the aisle are concerned about questions that have gone unanswered regarding our mission in Libya.”
“The President has failed to explain to the nation how this military action is consistent with U.S. national security goals and policy,” Boehner stated. “In fact, this Administration has committed American resources to enforcing a U.N. resolution that is inconsistent with our stated policy goals and national interests when it comes to removing Moammar Gadhafi from power.
"The resolution we will vote on tomorrow will enable members to clearly express the will of our constituents — in a responsible way that reflects our commitments to our allies and our troops," he added.