House panel wants DOD to turn over all writings on Libya war

The House Armed Services Committee on Wednesday approved a resolution that would require the Pentagon to hand over all correspondence it had with Congress before the Libya mission.

The measure would, if adopted by the full chamber, direct the Defense secretary to give Congress all “copies of any official document, record, memo, correspondence, or other communication ... in the possession of the secretary of defense that was created on or after February 15, 2011.”

Panel Chairman Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon (R-Calif.) noted some congressional leaders got a telephone call from senior Obama administration officials notifying them of the decision to launch military operations in Libya.

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But “a phone call” does not constitute proper notification under the War Powers Act, McKeon said.

Panel Ranking Member Adam Smith (D-Wash.) called it “a very appropriate resolution,” saying he shares McKeon's concerns that lawmakers were not properly consulted.

The committee passed the resolution by voice vote, with no member voting nay.