Rangel: President should have consulted Congress on Libya attack


"Time after time … each president believes that they have the power ... to put our young people in harm’s way, and it is wrong," Rangel said Monday to WNYW, a Fox News affiliate out of New York. "As soon as I heard that we were sending planes over there I thought, what happens, God forbid, if one of our young warriors gets shot down.”

“Don’t we have an obligation to go to rescue them?" asked Rangel.

Rangel said he was afraid the U.S. could be getting into a much longer and more serious war than anyone has imagined.

"I thought immediately about 'mission accomplished' and I said, oh my God," said Rangel referring to President George W. Bush's declaration of victory in the Iraq War in 2003.

"I truly believe … that before we put our young people in harm’s way that people in the Congress should be able to explain to their constituents that our national security was in jeopardy," said Rangel.

When the interviewer asked Rangel if was suggesting that Congress had not been consulted, Rangel replied, "I am."

Rangel also dismissed suggestions that leaders of Congress had been consulted while he had not, due to his decline in power over the last few years. Rangel was the chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee until he stepped down in 2010 due to an ethics scandal.

“You were not where you were last year in terms of power, so maybe they just are not consulting you, sir," said the interviewer. 

"Maybe they don't go to as many funerals as I go to," Rangel said of leaders of the House and Senate who reportedly communicated with Obama on his decision to join in the strike on Libya. "Maybe they don't have the families of these people who have been killed in Iraq and Afghanistan asking ‘was my boy a hero? Say something nice, congressman, about my son or my daughter.’ "

Rangel also said he is worried about the price. 

"I know it’s going to be hundreds of millions of dollars," said Rangel.

"Doggone it, how much is this going to cost?" Rangel asked later in the interview. 


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