Bipartisan resolution chastises Obama for failing to consult Congress on Libya

A bipartisan resolution introduced on the Senate floor Wednesday offered a strong rebuke to President Obama for failing to consult Congress on the mission in Libya.

Sponsored by Sens. Jim Webb (D-Va.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the measure admonishes Obama for failing to offer a good argument for the use of armed forces against the regime of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.

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"The president has failed to provide Congress with a compelling rationale based upon United States national security interests for current United States military activities regarding Libya," it reads.

The resolution also demands Obama answer 21 questions about U.S. involvement in Libya, prohibits the use of U.S. forces on the ground and calls on the White House to request permission for the continuation of U.S. involvement

In his remarks from the floor, Webb said this resolution is about defining any president's power to wage war without the approval of the Congress. 

“When we examine the conditions under which the President ordered our military into action in Libya, we are faced with the prospect of a very troubling historical precedent that has the potential to haunt us for decades,” Webb said. “The issue for us to consider is whether a President — any President — can unilaterally begin, and continue, a military campaign for reasons that he alone defines."

Webb and Corker brought the resolution to the floor as Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) indicated earlier in the day that due to lack of appetite for a vote in the upper chamber, he may scrap a resolution he was working on with Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) that would have backed President Obama’s use of military force in Libya.

The House last week approved a resolution from Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) that scolds the Obama administration for failing to seek congressional authority under the War Powers Act for military operations in Libya. 

The House resolution demands more information about the scope, cost and duration of the intervention. House members rejected a Democratic resolution offered by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) that would have required the withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Libya within 15 days.