Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called for tougher penalties against Moammar Gadhafi's regime on Saturday shortly before President Obama said Libya's leader should step down immediately.
Ros-Lehtinen said in a statement that the U.S. and the international community should impose measurers including "the establishment and enforcement of a no-fly zone, a comprehensive arms embargo, a travel ban on regime officials, immediate suspension of all contracts and assistance which benefit the regime, and the imposition of restrictions on foreign investment in Libya, including in Libya's oil sector."
The congresswoman also criticized Friday's United Nations Human Rights Council resolution condemning the repression in Libya as an "overdue, reactive, and insufficient measure by a deeply flawed body."
She urged the Obama administration to call for a U.N. General Assembly vote to "immediately suspend" Libya's membership on council, and to stop funding and participating in the council until "real membership standards" are adopted to "prevent human rights violators like Libya from becoming members in the first place."
Friday's emergency session to address the crisis in Libya marked the first time that the 47-member council has met to address human rights abuses by one of its own members.
"How many innocent people had to be killed or imprisoned by the Qaddafi regime before the Human Rights Council would finally act?" Ros-Lehtinen said.