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Garrett: Bill Limiting Military Action in Libya is Unconstitutional

Statement

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Chairman of the Constitution Caucus, today voted against H.R. 2278, which would limit the use of funds appropriated to the Department to Defense for the United States armed forces in support of NATO's military efforts in Libya.

"While I in no way support President Obama's unauthorized, unconstitutional war in Libya, I could not vote for Rep. Rooney's bill limiting the use of funds," said Garrett after the vote. "As Chairman of the Constitution Caucus, I have serious questions related to the constitutionality of the bill. In particular, I do not believe it is within Congress's power to dictate to the president how to conduct a war. The Constitution is very clear in this regard -- Congress has the power to declare war and the president, as commander-in-chief, has the power to carry it out."

"Furthermore, by dictating to President Obama how he can use American military forces in support of the NATO effort in Libya, we would authorize him to continue the same mission he has been carrying out for the past three months without congressional approval," added Garrett. "While I have supported past efforts to defund the military conflict in Libya, I could not vote in support of a bill that only defunds some of the military effort while endorsing others. Congress should and must debate the merits of our foray in to Libya and either authorize it completely or demand that the president terminate our military engagement."

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