Sen. Paul: Obama is ‘hypocritical’ for engaging US in ‘third war’

“We are engaging in a third war at a time when our country is struggling under an enormous debt and involved in two other wars,” said Paul.

“While I am new here in the Senate, I am appalled that the Senate has abdicated its responsibility and that the Senate has not acted,” said Paul referring to the question of whether or not Obama should have sought approval.

Paul’s resolution would express the "sense of the Senate that the president does not have the power to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve actual or imminent threat to the nation."

Paul’s resolution quotes a comment Obama made on the campaign trail in 2007 in which he said he believed the president could not authorize an attack without the permission of Congress. 

“The president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” Obama said in 2007.

“I will be very interested to see whether other senators support the candidate Barack Obama or now the hypocritical version that has become our president,” said Paul.

But Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) came to Obama’s defense following Paul’s floor-speech saying that if the U.S. had not attacked, Gadhafi would have gone “house to house” slaughtering innocent civilians. 

“With human life in the balance, the president had to make that decision,” said Durbin. 

Durbin said Obama had invited congressional leadership to talk about the attacks before they occurred and sent a letter notifying Congress of his plan after the air campaign had begun. 

“I don’t think it's hypocritical, and I am sorry that word was used,” said Durbin. “Arguing that the president has ignored the law ignores the facts.”

Paul was not satisfied with Durbin’s defense of Obama, saying the president could have and should have gained the permission of the 535 members of Congress. 

“He had utter disregard and contempt for the most important body in the United States that represents the people, the U.S. Congress,” said Paul. “Utter contempt. He has gone to NATO, he has gone to the U.N., he has gone to our allies, he has gone to the Arab league, but he has not had one single minute to come to Congress.

“I do not use the word hypocritical lightly,” Paul said.

The Senate adjourned at about 7:45 p.m. on Wednesday and is set to return at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday.