President Obama and his aides appear increasingly angered by threats from Congress over the president's authority to intervene in Libya.
Both in remarks the president made during his address on Afghanistan Wednesday night and in comments made by senior administration officials, the White House is losing patience with Congress.
With the House preparing to consider resolutions that would put a check on Obama's authority in Libya, Obama took the time in a speech on a troop draw-down in Afghanistan to defend the U.S.'s role there.
"When innocents are being slaughtered and global security endangered, we don’t have to choose between standing idly by or acting on our own," Obama said. "Instead, we must rally international action, which we are doing in Libya, where we do not have a single soldier on the ground, but are supporting allies in protecting the Libyan people and giving them the chance to determine their destiny."
White House press secretary Jay Carney has in recent days accused Congress of "sending mixed messages" to the Gadhafi regime by threatening to defund the U.S. mission or limit Obama's authority.
One senior administration official, on a conference call with reporters Wednesday afternoon, seemed even more angered by the defunding threats from both sides of the aisle.
The House is expected to vote Friday on legislation to limit funding for the U.S. military mission in Libya after Republican leaders scrambled to re-write an initial proposal by Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying world A new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE (R-Ohio).
BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerLobbying world A new kind of hero? Last week's emotional TV may be a sign GOP up in arms over Cheney, Kinzinger MORE on Tuesday night introduced two proposals that would allow lawmakers to vote to either authorize or end the U.S. combat mission.
The administration official accused Congress of being indecisive over where and how much the administration should be battling extremist groups.
"Very recently, we were charged with having started an additional war in Yemen, suggesting that, in fact, we’re too aggressive against al Qaeda," the official said. "Now, apparently, it turns out that we’re not aggressive enough against al Qaeda in Yemen.
"And I think, astoundingly, there is a move in the House of Representatives to take an effort as it relates to the ongoing effort to stop a tyrant in Libya and to turn it into a political football in such a way here as to give, at a critical time -- potentially send a very negative signal to the leadership of that country, which, as we all know, has over the course of time carried out hateful and heinous attacks against U.S. citizens, including terrorist attacks."