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Public Statements

Limiting Use of Funds for Armed Forces in Libya

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr GARRETT. Mr. Speaker, I have strong constitutional concerns regarding H.R. 2278. When the Founding Fathers met at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, the differentiation between which branch of the federal government initiates war and which branch conducts it was one of the most seriously debated topics. After deep thought and consideration, the Founders decided to grant Congress the power to declare war and left to the President, as Commander-in-Chief, the authority to conduct wars. Today, the Congress is asked to vote on a measure that would reverse the constitutionally prescribed war powers by directing the President on how to conduct the military conflict in Libya.

While I have supported past efforts to defund the military conflict in Libya, I cannot vote in support of a bill that only defunds some of the military effort while endorsing others. The Congress should and must debate the merits of our foray into Libya and either authorize it completely or demand that the President terminate our military engagement. This is the only constitutionally sound course for Congress to take.


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