White House fights for last word on Libya 

The White House is fighting for the last word on Libya.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney entered the briefing room on Thursday armed with an old statement by House Speaker John Boehner in which he supports the right of presidents to engage U.S. forces in a military operation without seeking Congressional approval.

Carney says Boehner is now arguing exactly the opposite, after he sent President Obama a letter threatening to charge him with violating the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which requires presidents to seek congressional approval before engaging the U.S. in a war. 

In 1999 when President Clinton involved the U.S. military in the Balkans, then-Rep. Boehner said in a statement: “The President of the United States is, and should remain, the chief architect of America’s foreign policy and the Commander-in- Chief of our armed forces. As distressed as many of us are over the Clinton Administration’s ill-conceived strategies in the Balkans, Congress must resist the temptation to take any action that would do further damage to the institution of the presidency itself.

"Invoking the constitutionally suspect War Powers Act may halt our nation’s snowballing involvement in the Kosovo quagmire," Boehner said."But it is also likely to tie the hands of future presidents who will need the authority to lead in crises with less ambiguous implications for our national security."

 

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