Rubio pushes measure to authorize ouster of Gadhafi in Libya

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is seeking support for a resolution that would authorize President Obama to take action to remove Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi from power.

"I am writing to seek your support for bringing a bipartisan resolution to the Senate floor authorizing the president's decision to participate in allied military action in Libya," Rubio said in a letter to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). "Furthermore, this resolution should also state that removing Moammar Gadhafi from power is in our national interest and therefore should authorize the president to accomplish this goal. To that end, the resolution should urge the president to recognize the Interim Transitional National Council as the legitimate government in Libya."

ADVERTISEMENT
Obama has said the U.S. intervention is based primarily on humanitarian grounds and that its aim is not to remove Gadhafi by force — though the administration wants to see him gone.
 
Unlike some of his congressional colleagues, Rubio has been a supporter of more aggressive U.S. involvement in Libya. He criticized Obama for not pushing earlier for United Nations Security Council authorization of a no-fly zone; that authorization came on March 17. 

In an interview with George Stephanopoulos on ABC's "Good Morning America" on Wednesday, Rubio said the primary goal for the U.S. in Libya was to "continue to degrade" Gadhafi's forces. He said the U.S. should be "engaged" with Libyan rebel forces, though he remained cautious, like Obama, about arming them.

Rubio's remarks came before Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates briefed lawmakers behind closed doors Wednesday on recent U.S. military actions in Libya.

Media outlets have reported that Obama had authorized covert aid to rebel forces in Libya, but the administration has said no such order has been given.

Read the letter below:


MR Letter Urging Removal of Gadhafi - March 30, 2011