U.S. House passes Boehner's Libya resolution, but not Kucinich's listen06/03/11 Seán Kinane
WMNF Drive-Time News Friday | Listen to this entire show:
The U.S. Constitution requires that only Congress may declare war. The War Powers Resolution of 1973 gives the President permission to defend the country without pre-approval from Congress if the country or its allies are in danger. But it still requires action from Congress within 60 days. But President Barack Obama has done none of those things regarding the U.S. involvement in NATO bombing of Libya. Today the U.S. House debated what to do about it and considered two competing resolutions. One, by House Speaker, Republican John Boehner, opposes U.S. ground forces in Libya and demands specifics on the operation from Obama in 14 days. The other, from Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich enforces the War Powers Resolution, demanding an end to U.S. involvement in the attack on Libya.
"The consequence of voting for one, that's the Speaker of the House resolution and not the other, H. Con. Res. 51 ends up being an endorsement of unconstitutional action that was taken by the White House. So how does Congress deal with the failure of any President to adhere to the Constitution? If Congress does not challenge a President's dismissal of the clear meaning of Article 1 Section 8 then we will have tacitly endorsed a President's violation of the Constitution and guaranteed the perpetuation of future Constitutional transgressions. A mild rebuke alone of a usurpation of a Constitutionally mandated War Power is insufficient to defend the Constitution. Many of us want to support our President but the President has ignored Congress's assertion of the War Powers by failing to obey the War Powers Resolution."
But Republican Bill Young from Pinellas County supports the Boehner resolution.
"Speaker Boehner's resolution calls very sharp attention to that issue. I think it's important that we pass, the House passes the Boehner Resolution and let the President know that we are not going to allow him to ignore the Constitution any further when it comes to War Powers. When it comes to spending for the welfare of our troops. When it comes to appropriating money for the defense of our nation and for the defense of our allies."
Many tea party Republicans and anti-war Democrats, like California’s Lynn Woolsey, rallied around the Constitution to support the Kucinich resolution.
"So here we are today debating the Boehner Resolution to take the air out of the question of whether the United States Congress or the White House has responsibility for the War Powers Act and begging them to know that it is our responsibility. Members should not be fooled into voting for the Boehner Amendment, the Resolution, because it delays action. We should vote for the Kucinich Resolution that insists that the Congress reclaim it's authority, take it's responsibility and do the right thing regarding Libya."
Boehner’s resolution passed 268-145 with one Representative voting present. Kucinich’s resolution failed 148-265. The House adjourned until Tuesday.