U.S. Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Springfield) demanded President Obama seek Congressional authorization under the War Powers Act before engaging any U.S. military forces in the Libyan conflict. DeFazio issued the following statement after recent escalation.
"The president must immediately convene the Congress and ask for authority under the War Powers Act if he intends to engage U.S. forces in hostile action. In asking for this authorization, he would be required to propose the scope, duration, and objective of the U.S. forces in this conflict. Until then, the president must restrict U.S. involvement in carrying out the United Nations mandate to logistical support. Our allies in Britain, France, and the Arab nations have sophisticated military and they are capable of carrying out the orders from the U.N. We can support them by using AWACs for intelligence gathering, refueling ally jets, and other logistical support. Only Congress has the authority to declare war. If the president intends to engage U.S. forces, he has an obligation to recall Congress and ask for such authority."
DeFazio has been a long-time critic of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. He strongly opposed the launch of the Iraq war and vehemently opposed all efforts to escalate the Afghanistan war. He has consistently supported efforts to draw down U.S. forces in Afghanistan, recently voting for Rep. Kucinich's plan for a withdrawal of U.S. troops.