U.S. Congressman Mike Pence issued the following statement today regarding two votes in the U.S. House of Representatives on military action in Libya. Pence voted against a resolution that would authorize the use of U.S. armed forces in support of NATO in Libya (H.J. Res. 68) and against a resolution that prohibits funding for U.S. military operations in Libya with certain exceptions (H.R. 2278).
Pence's statement follows:
"Today the House of Representatives was presented with two resolutions relating to the conflict in Libya. Neither resolution offered a good option, and the fault for that lies with the President of the United States.
"President Obama started military action in Libya more than 90 days ago. To date, he has not come to the Congress to request authorization for this use of force.
"Under the Constitution of the United States, Congress has the power to declare war and the President of the United States has the authority to conduct war as Commander in Chief.
"During my time in Congress, in these grave matters of national security, I have never wavered in my support for our men and women in uniform.
"I endeavor always to maintain the proper level of deference and respect due the Commander in Chief in matters of war, but I opposed the Hastings Resolution (H.J. Res. 68) because for more than 90 days this Administration has refused to come to the Congress to seek authorization for the use of force in Libya. I cannot support an after-the-fact effort by Members of Congress who seek to justify the president's use of force in Libya.
"If the president believes that continued U.S. military action in Libya is proper, he must come to the Congress and the American people to seek authority to proceed.
"Finally, today I also voted against the Rooney Resolution (H.R. 2278) denying funding to U.S. military operations in Libya, because I cannot and will not cut off funding to our troops in the field.
"Once American military personnel are engaged in hostilities, this Congress has an obligation to stand by our troops and do everything in our power to make sure our soldiers have the resources they need to get the job done and come home safe."