FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Several members of the House of Representatives are accusing President Barack Obama of violating the war powers act by continuing to allow U.S. participation in allied attacks on Libya. Rep. Dan Burton, R-Indiana, accused the president of playing "king." While Rep. Brad Sherman, D-California, said this whole ordeal is "shredding the U.S. Constitution."
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Friday marked the 60th day since the president told Congress the U.S. was joining allied forces in the attacks against Col. Moammar Gadhafi in Libya. Told Congress, as opposed to asking for approval. The 60-day mark is significant because under the War Powers Resolution, congressional authorization is required in significant military activity by then or the operation must be stopped. Neither has happened.
Instead, as the deadline approached, the president sent a letter to congressional leaders asking for a resolution of support. Obama did not mention the War Powers Resolution or ask explicitly for authorization in his letter.
He may get that resolution of support from the Senate. Sens. John Kerry and John McCain have introduced a bipartisan resolution that expresses Congress' support for U.S. military involvement in Libya. But Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said the vote would not happen before the week-long Memorial Day recess.
And over in the House, it's a much different story. Neither party has any plans to bring a resolution of support to the floor.
The War Powers Resolution dates back to 1973 and came out of the Vietnam War. It was passed as an effort to restore the role of Congress in deciding whether the U.S. military becomes involved in significant conflicts. President Richard Nixon at the time vetoed the act. Congress overrode it.
And it has pretty much been ignored by presidents ever since.
Here’s my question to you: Is President Obama breaking the law with the United States’ role in Libya?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Of course Obama is breaking the law in Libya. There is a question about whether the War Powers Act is constitutional, but the President should not be ignoring it just because asking Congress to approve a war is inconvenient to his image.
No, he is not. This action was supported by large numbers of people all over the globe. The war powers act is simply paperwork that is hindering the appropriate use of force. What’s more troubling is the shredding of the constitution started by the Bush administration with the Patriot Act and continued by the Obama administration.
At first pass here in Minnesota, I would have to agree that Obama is side-stepping the War Powers Act and more importantly the Constitution. The reaction to his overall foreign policy agenda by our "allies" during his European trip is a reality barometer. At least Obama is consistent. He did not have a solid plan for Libya that generated the support he needs before he left and he will not have one when he returns.
Van in Texas:
The law has been interpreted by every president as "declaring war" and not a "military action." He is not breaking the law as long as he doesn't declare war on Libya.
President Obama, like recent presidents of both parties, is fixated on becoming a world "hero" in any way he can and presidents for some reason usually figure that military violence is the path to that goal.
If George W. Bush did not break the law by invading Iraq, then most certainly President Obama's decisions in Libya are legal.
I am no constitutional scholar, but from what I do know about the Act, it has never been fully accepted as Constitutional itself. While it is concerning that Congress has not yet weighed in officially on this conflict, they certainly have the power to send the President a strong message against the military interventions in Libya if they convene and draft resolutions or actions to that effect.
John in Lake Charles, Louisiana:
Obama and every other politician in Washington are breaking my heart.