Congressman Leonard Lance said that passage of a resolution directing the Obama Administration, within two weeks, to describe "in detail United States security interests and objectives" in Libya shows that Congress is growing more and more concerned about the undefined U.S. role in the NATO military campaign.
"There has been growing bipartisan concern in Congress regarding America's undefined military role in Libya," Lance said. "It has been more than 60 days since U.S. involvement in the NATO campaign against Muammar Qaddafi's regime. But President Obama has yet to provide a clear and thorough explanation about the current mission and why it is vital to the national security interests of our country. It is my hope that today's action by Congress will spur President Obama to be more forthcoming with the American people about the U.S. military involvement in Libya."
The Constitution explicitly grants Congress the sole power to declare war. Additionally, the War Powers Resolution was enacted to give the President the ability to commit forces to defend American interests in an expedient manner for up to 60 days before having to seek congressional authorization. Subsequent authorization must be done through an act of Congress, specifically through a bill, joint resolution or concurrent resolution.
Lance earlier this week joined a strong bipartisan majority in voting to prohibit ground troops from being sent to Libya, further proof of the limits of Congressional support for U.S. involvement in further military action.