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Public Statements

Authorizing Limited Use of Armed Forces in Libya

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GRIFFIN of Arkansas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in opposition to House Joint Resolution 68, which authorizes the President to continue military operations in Libya.

I appreciate all the policy arguments that I've heard here today. But the question for me is, is it illegal or not? If it's a question of law, then all of the arguments about making this group mad or not being a good ally, et cetera, those are very persuasive; but those are not legal arguments. Those don't change whether the actions in Libya are constitutional or legal. Those are policy arguments.

The President continues to be in violation of the War Powers resolution, which requires congressional approval for military action within 60 days of the initial use of our Armed Forces. That deadline expired long ago.

The President continues to involve the U.S. military in this illegal conflict and has continually ignored requests to gain congressional approval.

What's so hard, Mr. President, about coming to the House and consulting with the Congress? What's so hard about that? Other Presidents who may have had their doubts about the constitutionality of the War Powers resolution have still gone through the process to respect the people that are represented by this body.

Reportedly, the President ignored advice from his top lawyers at the Pentagon and the Justice Department who said that he no longer had the legal authority to continue military action without congressional authorization.

Furthermore, this is not a legal argument--but I think it's relevant--we're broke. The price tag of the military action in Libya has already cost the U.S. Government over $750 million. This resolution would authorize the President to continue military action in Libya for up to a year. That could result in billions of dollars of funding by the American taxpayer that we just can't afford.

We cannot spend precious taxpayer funds to support this military action while the President flouts the law and Constitution.


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