Senate letter seeks Obama compliance with War Powers Act 

Six Republican Senators will sign a letter this afternoon asking President Obama if he intends to comply with War Powers Act regarding Libya. Sens. Rand Paul, R-Tenn., Mike Lee, R-Utah, Jim DeMint, R-S.C., Ron Johnson, R-Wis., Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Jon Cornyn, R-Texas, all signed the letter which identifies this Friday, May 20th, as “the final day of the statutory sixty-day period for you to terminate the use of the United States Armed Forces in Libya under the War Powers Resolution.” In testimony before the Senate last week, Deputy Secretary of State James Steinberg promised Obama would comply with the War Powers Act on Libya.

The letter claims Obama “introduced the United States Armed Forces into hostilities in Libya … without regard to, or compliance with, the requirement of section 2(c) of the War Powers Resolution.” Section 2(c) of the War Powers Act says that the United States Armed Forces can only be introduced into hostilities pursuant to (1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces. None of those three requirements have been met so far. The senators also note that Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has reported that operations in Libya have cost the Pentagon at least $750 million so far.

On April 5th, only ten senators voted to adopt a “sense of the Senate” resolution proposed by Paul comprised of just one sentence, uttered by then-Sen. Obama in 2007 – that “the president does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation.’”

You can read the whole letter, here.

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