Rep. Welch writes letter to Obama urging Libya to reimburse American taxpayer

House Minority Chief Deputy Whip Peter Welch (D-Vt.) is asking President Obama to have Libya reimburse American taxpayers for the U.S.'s role in the multinational mission to protect Libyan civilians from dictator Moammar Gadhafi. 

"The United States played a significant  role in the liberation of Libya from the tyranny of  Col.  Muammar el-Qaddafi. The Libyan people are now free to determine their future," Welch wrote in a letter to Obama sent Saturday.

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Even though Libya's new government is just beginning, there are ways for the country to reimburse the U.S., Welch writes. 

"According to Vice President Biden, the cost of America’s role in the NATO mission is estimated to be in the range of $2 billion. We believe it is essential that Libya reimburse the American taxpayer for the cost of our participation in the NATO mission," Welch continues in the letter. "While the National Transitional Council needs time and Libyan resources to establish itself and stabilize the country, we believe reimbursement can be structured with realistic terms and over a reasonable timeframe so that it does not impair the success of a free and stable Libya." 

On Thursday, Gadhafi was killed during fighting in Sirte, Libya. Legislators hailed Gadhafi's death as an effective end to the war in Libya and the end of the dictatorial government there. 

President Obama authorized U.S. participation in a multinational effort alongside a number of other NATO allies to protect Libyan civilians from Gadhafi's forces while the Libyan government clashed with rebels. 

Welch voted in support of legislation funding the U.S. mission in Libya, according to Vermont Public Radio.

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