Boehner sends letter to Obama telling him that in five days he will be in violation of the War Powers Act

Maybe Speaker Boehner is not just going through the motions, as I suggested on June 3, but actually intends, in the absence of congressional authorization, to stop the Libya action. Bloomberg News reports:

Voicing rising Republican frustration with the U.S. military involvement in Libya, House Speaker John Boehner told President Barack Obama today that without congressional authorization, the mission would be in violation of the War Powers Resolution on June 19.

We have a situation shaping up that seems unprecedented. To my knowledge, there has never been a complete stand-off between Congress and President on this issue. Whenever the President ordered the military into hostile actions abroad, Congress eventually provided him with some kind of authorization. Even when President Truman sent troops to Korea in 1950 without a declaration of war or any kind of congressional approval, eventually the Congress did give its approval. So, assuming that Obama doesn’t yield, what can Congress do? The War Powers Act gives no guidance to the Congress on this point. It seems there are only two options: impeachment, which would be the truly correct step but which is not going to happen, or a cut-off of funding for the Libya operation.

But even the less drastic step of a funding cut-off assumes that Boehner & Co. are serious and not just going through the motions. Furthermore, because I remember the empty, passive, detached look on the faces of Boehner and Cantor when they stood together at a press briefing at the beginning of the Libya operation, because I remember their total lack of concern over this senseless and lawless dispatch of U.S. forces into a civil war in a Muslim country that is none of our business, and because I remember that Boehner took no steps to invoke the War Powers Act until two weeks after the statutory 60 day period had lapsed, I will only believe that Boehner is serious about stopping the madness when I see it.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 14, 2011 09:24 PM | Send

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