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Public Statements

Regarding Deployment of United States Armed Forces in Libya

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GOODLATTE. Madam Speaker, like many members of this body, I have been outraged by the President's failure to comply with the War Powers Act and to define the U.S. mission in Libya. This Congress must not neglect its responsibility and authority regarding the use of force in Libya, and the debate we are having today is long overdue.

I think most Americans, including myself, agree that seeing Moammar Gadhafi and his regime of thugs removed from power would be a good thing. However, I think most Americans, including myself, also feel strongly that American forces should not be committed to this kind of mission without the consent of the U.S. Congress.

Our Founding Fathers envisioned a country where the executive branch and the legislative branch share the responsibility regarding the use of force. President Obama has not sought the consent of the Congress in terms of involving American forces in Libya and that is why we are having this debate today.

I rise in support of H. Res. 292. This resolution demands that the President provide answers about our involvement in the conflict in Libya, including the President's justification for not seeking Congressional authorization for this action. The resolution gives the President 14 days to respond to this request. The President should take very seriously this resolution. And our leadership in Congress should be vigilant to demand a full and clear response from the President. This resolution also gives adequate notice to NATO and our other allies of the concerns of the House before the House takes further action. The further action must take note of the President's failure to comply with the War Powers Act and notwithstanding that fact must also take note of our Nation's foreign policy interests and efforts to combat terrorism.

H. Res. 292 is an important first step in restoring the balance that our Founding Fathers envisioned, that our legislative and executive branches share the responsibility regarding the use of U.S. force. However, the action taken today should not be the last step. In 14 days, the House of Representatives should reconvene to evaluate our continued involvement in Libya. We must then make hard decisions about the operation in Libya and the role of the United States in this conflict. I hope my colleagues will join me in remaining vigilant and demanding accountability from the White House.


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