McConnell says 'close air support' for Libyan rebels would need congressional approval

McConnell said that Congress and the American people are unclear on U.S. objectives in Libya, even though President Obama has twice notified Congress of the decision to work with coalition forces to establish a no-fly zone in that country. The confusion stems from the combination of the narrow mission that the U.S. military has described and comments from Obama that indicate support for regime change.

"The president has failed to explain up to this point what follows the evident establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya, as it was originally described," he said. "Further, the president has articulated a wider political objective of regime change in Libya that is not the stated objective of our military intervention, nor is it the mandate of the U.N. resolution that the president has used as a justification for our military efforts there."

He said tonight's planned remarks from Obama are an opportunity for the president to describe his plans following the successful coalition attacks on Libya's air defenses. McConnell said he would be listening to Obama's remarks for answers to several questions.

"When will the U.S. combat role in the operation end?" he asked. "Will America's commitment end in days, not weeks, as the president promised? What will be the duration of the non-combat operation, and what will be the cost? What national security interest of the United States justified the risk of American life? What is the role of our country in Libya's ongoing civil war?"