Dem senator: US 'without direction’ in Libya

“We are in danger of fighting an expanded war… a war that was originally justified as a limited military operation.”

Udall said he opposes such an escalation, and that Congress must weigh in on whether President Obama has the authority to pursue the war.

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“If the United States military is to be involved in such an escalation, then the United States Congress must exercise its constitutional authority and approve or disapprove of the president’s proposal,” Udall said.

Udall also accused some of his colleagues of “clamoring” to escalate the war in Libya.

After Udall concluded his remarks on Tuesday, Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), a close ally of President Obama, said he agreed with Udall's remarks and that they reflected his views “completely.”

“It is the responsibility of Congress to step forward, speaking for American people, to make a decision on whether or not we will go forward with a military commitment,” said Durbin. “We have an awesome responsibility under the Constitution.”

Members of Congress in both chambers and parties have been irritated with the administration over its lack of consultation with Congress over the action in Libya.

Earlier this month, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) floated a plan to back Obama’s use of military force in Libya, but delayed the measure due to apparent weak support in the Senate.

Last week, Sens. Jim Webb (D-Va.) and Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), both members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, introduced a bipartisan measure that would admonish Obama for failing to offer a sufficient argument for the use of armed forces in Libya.

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

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