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Limiting Use of Funds for Armed Forces in Libya

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GIBSON. I thank the gentleman from Florida for yielding me time to speak today.

I've been opposed to this operation in Libya from the very start. In terms of national security priorities, we should be focusing on rapidly and successfully completing operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, reorganizing the national security establishment to more effectively wage counterterrorism operations against al Qaeda, and resetting the DOD to defend our cherished way of life in a manner consistent for a Republic, not an Empire. Going forward, we need to learn from these experiences and exercise more discipline; not getting involved in operations like Libya where vital national security interests are not present.

We should cease our involvement in Libya immediately. I'm supporting this resolution to cut off funds for combat operations. I view this as a good start, but I want to be clear: I will not be satisfied until all funds are cut off for this operation, no exceptions.

Then we need to revise the War Powers Act to ensure we never again end up with a President taking this country to war without proper authorization. We need to rediscover the Founders' intent on this critical issue, and I've introduced legislation, the War Powers Reform Act, to make it so. The War Powers Reform Act clarifies when the President may deploy forces into hostilities or imminent threat of hostilities: one, declaration of war; two, specific statutory authorization; or three, a national emergency created by an attack on the United States or an imminent threat of an attack on our country. If none of these circumstances are met, the President must first come to Congress to obtain authorization before deploying forces. The key change in the War Powers Reform Act is that without prior authorization, the President may not obligate or expend funds to deploy troops into combat.

Congress must act to restore constitutional balance and the voice of the American people. We need to reform the War Powers Act. I urge my colleagues to support both this bill and Mr. Rooney's resolution on Libya that we are voting on today.


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