Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Chairman of the Constitution Caucus, issued the following statement today after the Obama administration released a report defending its decision to not seek congressional authorization for the use of military force in Libya:
"At long last, President Obama has decided to update Congress and the American people on his unauthorized use of military force in Libya. Unfortunately, a progress report from the White House is no substitute for congressional authorization. If the president thinks it's in the best interest of the United States to commit U.S. military personnel to the conflict in Libya he needs to come to Congress for an up or down vote. Otherwise, he is in violation of the Constitution and the oath he took to preserve, protect and defend it."
From the outset, Garrett has been a staunch opponent of the Obama administration's handling of the situation in Libya. On May 24, Garrett introduced H. Con. Res. 53, declaring 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. In addition, on May 25, the House adopted by voice vote an amendment sponsored by Garrett to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2012 to clarify that the NDAA does not in any way authorize military action in Libya.