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Public Statements

Libya War Powers Resolution

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. FRANK of Massachusetts. Madam Speaker, I think the President erred in not following the War Powers Act in the spirit of the Constitution. He should have asked us. If he had, I would have said ``no'' then, and I say ``no'' now.

Let me disagree with those of my colleagues who have talked about what a terrible man Qadhafi is as a reason for the United States to be spending our money there. Yes, he's a thug who ought to be removed, but it cannot be that America has to be the 911 for the world and that we are the ones who have to respond everywhere every time.

I heard one of my colleagues on the other side say, Well, the Europeans are there. Let's not poke them in the eye. Poke them in the eye? We have for years, since the beginning of NATO, been subsidizing them so that they have military budgets less than half of ours as a percentage of their GDP, so that they can do better than us in health care and better in competitiveness and every other way.

Yes, he should be opposed. There are European nations, developed, wealthy nations just across the Mediterranean. Why do they have to have America come nearly 4,000 miles to do it?

And it's not just Libya. This is defining. Are we going to go forward with a situation in which America undertakes to defend everybody in the world everywhere, even when they are not greatly threatened, as is the case with NATO or with missile defenses against nonexistent missile threats from Iran, or do we say that we will bear our fair share but not more? We have got to stop subsidizing the rest of the world, particularly now.

And when members from the Appropriations Committee come up and tell us, You've got to go do this, but let's cut police in Massachusetts, let's cut housing in Ohio, let's cut transportation in California, we cannot reduce our deficit in a way that allows us to maintain any concern for the quality of life here if we continue to spend money promiscuously all over the world.

By the way, let's go beyond that. We're not just talking about Libya. What about the paradox of Afghanistan, where we will spend $100 billion a year to be told by the President of Afghanistan that he doesn't like what we're doing. Fine, let him have it. Stop forcing him to take our $100 billion a year.


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