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Public Statements

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2012

Location: Washington, DC

Today, I stand here to introduce this amendment, No. 58, to the National Defense Authorization Act to clearly set out congressional intent with regard to military operations in Libya.

The amendment is simple: it clarifies that this authorization bill does not serve as congressional authorization for any military operation in Libya. The Constitution explicitly grants Congress the sole power to declare war, to authorize it. And we know that the War Powers Resolution was enacted to give the President the ability to commit forces to defend American interests in an expedited manner for up to 60 days before having to seek that congressional authorization. Subsequent military engagement must then, under that act, be authorized by this Congress.

But despite that clear standard, Presidents have routinely disregarded the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution and the role of Congress. As you know, President Obama consulted the U.N. and the Arab League of Nations before engaging in hostilities. However, the whole of Congress was not consulted nor authorized and to date has not authorized any military action in Libya whatsoever.

I do believe firmly that the President must come to this Congress for authorization to continue any and all U.S. military action. So I encourage Members of this House to support this amendment.

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