Hoping to drum up support for his proposal to pull U.S. forces from Libya, Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) argued Thursday that an alternative plan from Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) is too tame to be effective.
“It is not a substitute for my resolution and does not have anywhere near the same impact,” Kucinich wrote to his House colleagues Thursday.
“There are clear differences, and it is imperative that members clearly understand them because a consequence of voting for one (H.Res. 292) and not the other (H.Con.Res. 51) is an endorsement of the illegal and unconstitutional action that has been taken by the White House."
Kucinich’s resolution would force a withdrawal of U.S. forces from Libya within 15 days unless President Obama can secure congressional approval for the mission.
The proposal was scheduled for a floor vote Wednesday, but as momentum for that measure grew, so did GOP leadership concerns that it might pass. As a result, they pulled the bill on Wednesday, and Boehner offered his alternative a day later.
Boehner’s proposal does not mandate a withdrawal of troops, but instead would force the White House to provide Congress with detailed information on the Libya mission, including the price tag and the administration’s justification for not seeking congressional authorization. It would also bar the Pentagon from sending ground troops to Libya.
Kucinich has said he will support Boehner's proposal. The House is scheduled to vote on both measures Friday.
The Kucinich bill invokes the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which requires Congress to authorize military operations after 60 days. The Libya mission is more than 70 days old, and Congress has not endorsed it.
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) defended the White House on Thursday, arguing that both the Boehner and Kucinich proposals “do not advance our efforts in the region and send the wrong message to our NATO partners.”
Pelosi is calling instead for “continued consultation with the Congress.”
Kucinich has rejected that argument this week, saying Congress's duty is to the Constitution, not to NATO.
“Our loyalty to NATO and to our president, regardless of party affiliation, does not trump our loyalty to the United States Constitution,” Kucinich wrote.
The Pentagon has said it opposes any resolution that would seek to alter U.S. participation in the NATO mission in Libya.