For Immediate Release
President Urged to Seek Congressional Approval for Military Action in Libya
WASHINGTON - Today, members of The Constitution Project's bipartisan War Powers Committee, including its co-chairs, former Members of Congress Mickey Edwards (R-OK) and David Skaggs (D-CO), as well as war powers expert Louis Fisher, urged President Obama to immediately seek congressional approval if he plans to continue America's military operations in Libya.
In a letter sent to the White House today, the President was reminded that on May 19, 2011, the 60-day clock of the War Powers Resolution runs out. The letter notes, "The Constitution requires the President to obtain the authorization of Congress prior to initiating the use of force abroad except for a limited range of defensive purposes. None of these purposes was present in the reasons you gave for your unilateral determination to use force in Libya.While we appreciate that United Nations Security Council and NATO approvals may have significance under international law, they have no bearing on the legality of the use of force under the Constitution of the United States."
In its 2005 report entitled Deciding to Use Force Abroad: War Powers in a System of Checks and Balances , The Constitution Project's War Powers Committee recommended improvements to war powers decision-making designed to restore the proper roles of all three branches of government.
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The Constitution Project is a politically independent think tank established in 1997 to promote and defend constitutional safeguards. More information about the Constitution Project is available at http://constitutionproject.org/.