Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Chairman of the Congressional Constitution Caucus, has introduced H. Con. Res. 53, which declares that President Obama has exceeded his authority under the War Powers Resolution as it pertains to the ongoing military engagement in Libya and calls on the president to either seek formal authorization from Congress to continue the mission in Libya or cease armed engagement until such authorization is provided.
"President Obama has exceeded his authority under the War Powers Resolution and is constitutionally bound to seek Congress's authorization before continuing with U.S. military engagement in Libya," said Garrett upon introduction. "If President Obama thinks it is in the best interest of the United States to intervene militarily in Libya, he should come to Congress and seek authorization. To continue without seeking congressional authorization is a violation of the Constitution; and without authorization, President Obama is in violation of the oath he took to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."
"Contrary to what President Obama believes, the United Nations does not serve as a proxy for the United States Congress," added Garrett. "The only body that can vote to send the American military into harm's way is the body that is held accountable to the American people. President Obama's foray into military engagement with Libya raises serious questions about the constitutionally prescribed separation of war powers. It's my hope that this resolution will advance that debate by forcing President Obama to engage in a dialogue with Congress on the need to use military force in Libya."
When the Obama administration committed the use of American military personnel to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya on March 19, 2011, President Obama did not seek congressional authorization. Under the War Powers Act of 1973, unless Congress authorizes the use of force, U.S. military forces must be withdrawn after 60 days, which was reached on Friday, May 20, 2011.