House Speaker John Boehner’s strongly worded letter to President Obama on the U.S. mission in Libya asked the “right questions,” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) said Thursday.
Speaking on MSNBC, Brown said he wants Obama to explain to Congress and the nation what the American mission in Libya is and if the U.S. wants Col. Moammar Gadhafi removed from power.
Those are the some of the same issues Boehner (R-Ohio) told the president, in a two-page letter sent Wednesday night, he wants addressed.
"I think the questions Speaker Boehner asked were generally legitimate questions — I think they were the right questions," Brown said.
But Brown suggested Obama need not answer all those questions in as much detail as Boehner demanded.
Some members of both parties have criticized Obama for intervening in Libya, to enforce a United Nations-approved no-fly zone, without first seeking congressional approval. Others have said he has the authority to do so.
In a Monday letter to Boehner and the president pro tempore of the Senate, Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Obama pushed back on that criticism, saying he was within his authority to authorize U.S. military involvement in a mission that is “limited” in scope.
Obama also held a bipartisan briefing on Libya with top members of Congress a day after the U.N. Security Council approved the no-fly resolution and before the coalition’s airstrikes in Libya began.
Still, critics have demanded that Obama better articulate his plans for the U.S. in Libya. The president maintains that the American role in enforcing the resolution is a limited one and the U.S. will hand over the lead to its allies soon, although he has not specified when.