(AFP) – May 23, 2011
WASHINGTON — Key Senate Democrats and Republicans introduced a resolution on Monday endorsing limited US military intervention in Libya, more than two months after coalition air raids began.
The text "supports the limited use of military force by the United States in Libya as part of the NATO mission to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973" to protect civilians.
Drawn up by Republican Senator John McCain, Democrat John Kerry and others, the document said the Senate "agrees that the goal of United States policy in Libya, as stated by the president, is to achieve the departure from power of Moamer Kadhafi and his family."
The operation seeks a "peaceful transition" to "an inclusive government that ensures freedom, opportunity and justice for the people of Libya," it added.
It also called for regime funds frozen by the United States to be given to the Libyan people for humanitarian needs and reconstruction.
Some Republicans last week questioned whether President Barack Obama, a Democrat, had sidestepped the War Powers Resolution of 1973 by not seeking congressional approval for the US mission.
Under the federal law, a president has a 60-day limit to send troops into combat without congressional approval. But the Obama administration maintains that permission was not required for a NATO support mission.
Previous administrations have ignored the law, and both the president and the authors of the resolution maintain that the congressional green light is not necessary for "limited" military operations like the Libyan intervention.
The administration had written to congressional leaders on Friday to request their support, while affirming that the nature of the Libya operation did not require their formal authorization.
Senator Richard Lugar meanwhile wrote a lengthy letter to Obama expressing his "serious concern about your administration?s failure to recognize the role of the Congress in matters relating to U.S. involvement in Libya?s civil war."
The top Republican on the powerful Foreign Relations Committee went on to say that the administration's commitment to consult Congress and conduct operations in accordance with the War Powers Resolution had been "unfulfilled."
On the other side of the political spectrum, far-left Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who opposes US intervention, submitted a separate resolution calling for the "removal of United States armed forces from Libya."
Copyright © 2013 AFP. All rights reserved. More »