tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN June 3, 2011 10:00am-1:00pm EDT
drafted, drafted by senators kerry, feinstein, graham, and lieberman which would confirm that the congress supports the u.s. mission in libya and that both branches are united in their commitment to supporting the aspirations of the libyan people for political reform and self-government. mr. speaker, this is doublespeak of the worst kind. a resolution drafted, never, never introduced or passed. . which could confirm that the u.s. supports the mission. the president is dreaming when he talks about this language. mr. speaker, could i have 30 second? mr. scott: 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for an additional 30 seconds. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, let me reiterate, this debate is not about our troops. it's about our constitution.
our men and women in uniform are doing their duty by following orders. they make me and the rest of us very proud. we're a blessed nation to have such men and women in the military. mr. speaker, this is about our oath to protect and defend the constitution, about the checks and balances our founding fathers had in mind when they broke away from an imperial monarchy. i urge my colleagues to support the rule and i yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i want to thank the gentlelady from north carolina for her remarks. much of which i agree with. and i don't always agree with her, but i especially appreciate her emphasis on the importance of the war powers resolution and how it applies here. i, again, want to emphasize the importance of the war powers resolution because i was, again, really surprised by the way the distinguished chairman of the rules committee kind of diminished what the war powers resolution is all about. i want to read to you, read to
my colleagues a section from the briefing paper that the congressional research service has put together. let me just read this part here. section 1 establishes the title the war powers resolution. the law frequently referred to as the war powers act, the title of the measure passed by the senate. although the latter is not technically correct, it does serve to emphasize that the war powers resolution embodied in a joint resolution which complies with constitutional requirements for lawmaking is a law. and, again, what i find puzzling is that we're all talking about the importance of the war powers resolution, and my friends on the other side of the aisle are saying, that's why you need to support the boehner -- h.res., which, again, does nothing. i mean, we could do a press release and would have the same impact that the resolution that
mr. boehner has introduced has on the president of the united states. unfortunately, the president of the united states to do certain things. i want to again emphasize that there is a war powers resolution. it is law and it is important that we understand that. and we have a role in that. and what mr. kucinich is trying to do is to assert the proper congressional role with regard to the war powers resolution. what my friends on the other side of the aisle are trying to do, again, is either provide coverage for members so they don't have to support mr. kucinich or make a statement. but it doesn't really do anything. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's highly is reserved. the gentleman from south carolina. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield 90 seconds to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. garrett. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for 90 seconds. mr. garrett: mr. speaker, i applaud speaker boehner for raising this important issue today before the house.
i cannot agree more with the speaker that the president has failed to explain to the nation the purpose and goals of our military operation in libya. the speaker's resolution rightly demands answers from the president with regard to the security interest and military objectives in our engagement with libya. i would go even further than that that the president has been in violation of the law and set out specific responses from congress. but let's be clear, congress must engage in a full and open and honest he d bait about sending our brave men -- debate about sending our brave men and women into combat. we owe that to the people. the founders intended such debate when they granted congress the power to declare war. the president's complete failure to receive specific authority as required by the war powers act and by the constitution leads to only one conclusion, that president obama is in violation of the constitution and the authority under the war powers act as well. the united states congress now
cannot sit by idly any longer. as the president refuses to abide by his constitutional and his legal requirements. and so in conclusion, i believe that congress must hold this president accountable, and the speaker's resolution is the first step in that direction. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time is reserved. the gentleman from south carolina. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for two minutes. mr. nugent: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd also like to thank my friend and fellow rules committee member, mr. scott, for the opportunity to support this rule. mr. speaker, while we're fighting the wars on two fronts, iraq and afghanistan, our troops is already spent very thin. the president announced the u.s. military forces to join with our nato allies to commence operations in libya. the president did this only
without congressional authorization but without even consulting congress on the matter. for the first time since the operation, it was under u.s. command. before shifting the ongoing operations to nato on march 30. to this day the president still hasn't come to congress to ask for formal approval. when president bush committed our military operations in libya, he said we were talking about days, not months. today, we're talking about months, not days. mr. speaker, president obama has put us in a trip bag with our nato allies. he knew he was committing our nato allieses to missions that would be unpopular, unjfble and unconstitutional. so in -- unjustifiable and unconstitutional. president obama transferred operations over to nato. although we may not be in control of the mission, there is no doubt nato could not move forward without u.s. assets.
my colleague from ohio, mr. kucinich, will point out that 93% of the cruise missiles, 66% of the personnel, 50% of the troops and 50% of the planes are estimated over $700 million to date. i support the president wherever he sends the troops. i cannot agree with military forces and operations without congressional authorization. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts continues to reserve his time. the gentleman from south carolina. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from georgia, mr. gingrey. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for two minutes. goip i thank the gentleman for yielding. i ask -- mr. gingrey: i thank the gentleman from yielding. i have not been heard from either side anything i disagree
with. i am going to support speaker boehner's resolution and i am going to probably oppose representative kucinich's resolution for this reason. the speaker convinced me of that, listened very carefully to him with regard to two weeks pulling everything that we have in libya out and coming home would be a dangerous precedent in regard to our nato allies. make no mistake about it, this president got us into this mess. it was his ignoring of the war powers resolution act. i don't know who was advising him in regard to that. whether it was the attorney general, but it was an absolute mistake, but now that he has committed us, the united states of america, and our troops to nato through this u.n. resolution, i feel it would be a mistake to immediately within 14 days pull the rug out from under that operation. i'm not completely satisfied
with the boehner resolution, but i think it does, mr. speaker, lay down a marker. it makes a statement, and the speaker was very clear in speaking to us that this is not the end of this. this is the beginning. we have the ability to if we need to to amend the war powers resolution. we need to make it very clear. i don't know who the president notified in regard to this operation. what did he do, send a tweet to the chairman of the senate and house armed services committee and the respective select committees on intelligence? that's not good enough for me, a member, one of 435 in this body. it should never happen again, and that's what this is all about today. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts continue to reserve? mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from indiana, mr. burton. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana is recognized for two minutes.
mr. burton: let me say that this is not a partisan issue. i hear a lot of partisan rhetoric, but it's not a partisan issue. this is an issue about where we deploy troops, who has the authority to do it and whether or not what the president has done is constitutional. one of the concerns that i have -- and i'll probably support both resolutions -- but one of the concerns i have about the speaker's resolution is it says the president shall not deploy, establish or maintain the presence of units and members of the united states armed forces on the ground in libya. now, most of our wars that we fight now are fought from the air or from battle ships. we've had about 250 missiles fired in libya and about 226 of them are american. we spent almost 3/4 of a billion dollars already and probably will go over a billion. now, boots on the ground says we're not going to put troops into libya, but we got ships
offshore. we got planes in the air. we got airmen who are at risk every single day, and we're committing military forces in libya even though we don't have boots on the ground. this goes further than boots on the ground. the president does not have the constitutional authority to do what he did. now, i think that the boehner resolution is a good step in the right direction, except for one thing. it limits it to no boots on the ground. we shouldn't have any troops over there. this was not approved by congress, by the people. it was approved by the arab league. it was approved by the united nations. it was approved by the french and the english, but not the american people. and it's costing billions of dollars. it will cost billions of dollars. this is something that should not have happened and it should never happen again. now, if we limit this to boots on the ground, what if the president decides in a week while we're out on recess to go into syria? and they say, well, it's no boots on the ground. he could still attack syria.
assad there in syria with airplanes and missiles. we need to stop this president from making unilateral decisions that the american people do not support and the congress of the united states does not support. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts. combovegove ready to close. mr. scott: we're ready to close, we reserve. mr. mcgovern: thank you, mr. speaker. how much time do i have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has five minutes remaining. mr. mcgovern: i yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, this is a very serious issue. and i want to commend many of my colleagues who have come fought floor today who have spoken very thoughtfully about this issue. but on this issue quite frankly we should have come together in a bipartisan way and crafted a bipartisan resolution and come to this flor -- floor as one
and spoken as one. that did not happen because politics got in the way. you know, any time over the last several weeks the armed services committee or the foreign affairs committee could have reported on a resolution on libya. they didn't. mr. kucinich came to the floor with -- came to the house with his resolution, went through a process that would have compelled a vote and all of a sudden the republican leadership got nervous and they came up with a boehner resolution in an attempt to undercut the kucinich resolution. if you question whether or not politics had anything to do with it, i revise you to read the "politico" piece that ran when boehner -- i quote -- boehner told the house republican conference during a closed door meeting on thursday that he doesn't want to turn the floor over to dennis kucinich, the liberal democrat.
ok. i get it. we could have come together and the chairman and the ranking member of the armed services committee, the chairman and the ranking member of the foreign affairs committee could have come together and we could have crafted a bipartisan resolution and done something truly meaningful here because quite frankly it doesn't matter what political party the president may be. it needs to be made clear that congress plays a role in war making, and unfortunately in this case i think there's a bipartisan consensus that congress was just ignored. and that cannot stand. my problem, again, with the boehner resolution, is that it doesn't do anything. you know, if anybody thinks this -- passing this resolution is going to compel the white house to do anything differently or provide us with anything they haven't already provided us with they're grateful mistaken.
it doesn't force the president or the administration to do anything. it's a strong statement. i think it's a little bit -- written in a very partisan way, unfortunately, but my friend on the other side of the aisle can do what they want. but it reminds, i think, all of us who care deeply about these issues there has to be a better way to do this. on issues like this we should come together in a bipartisan way and try to craft resolutions or joint resolutions that mean something and that both sides can feel comfortable supporting. i want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for reminding us again of the war powers resolution. it is not some mere resolution. i mean, it is law, it is law. . the reason why we are here today is because we believe that the war powers resolution needs to be upheld and the congress needs to assert its proper role on
this issue. having said all of that i will urge my colleagues to vote no on the rule. because i think this process is not appropriate. i would urge my colleagues to vote no on the boehner resolution. and i will vote for the kucinich resolution. i urge my colleagues to vote their conscience on that. but if you really want to send a statement, if you really want to send a message, let's send a message, let's not send a press release, let's do something that resonates that once again asserts congress' proper role in this debate. we are involved in too many courts, we are going broke, we are losing too many brave men and women in these conflicts, and in the case of libya i think. of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle wonder what our point is and what our mission is. it's not clear. that's one of the reasons why congress should be involved.
we need to take this out of the realm of partisanship and return it back to where it belongs. this should be a bipartisan issue here. i regret that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle chose not to do that. i would urge a no vote on the rule, no vote on the boehner resolution. i will vote for the kucinich resolution. urge my colleagues to vote their conscience on that. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from south carolina. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. this rule lets the house work its will, without any question. you have the choice. vote your conscience. this is the place where we are confident department and not nervous. we want to close in a bipartisan way because there's no doubt that we want americans to come together and i can think of no more appropriate way to close than to quote then senator barack obama once again. the president does not have the power under the constitution to unilaterally authorize a
military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping annual or imminent threat to the nation. i yield back the balance of my time. i move the previous question on this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. without objection, the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the resolution is adoptsed. without objection-- mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i ask for the yeas and nays. the yeas and nays -- the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. pursuant to house resolution 294, i call up -- >> mr. speaker, this is a very important issue and the house is not in order. every member ought to sit down and listen to this debate. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. the house is not in order. would all members respectfully take their seats? would all members please take their seats or take your discussions outside the house chamber?
for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, mr. speaker. pursuant to house resolution 294, i call up house resolution 292 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 292, resolution declaring that the president shall not deploy, establish or maintain the presence of units and the members of the united states armed forces on the ground in libya and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 294, the resolution is
considered as read. the resolution shall be debatable for one hour with 40 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on the foreign affairs, and 20 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on armed services. the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, and the gentleman from california, mr. berman, each will control 20 minutes. the gentleman from california, mr. mckeon, and the gentleman from washington, mr. smith, each will control 10 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. and i'd like to yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you. i rise in strong support of house resolution 292 sponsored by our distinguished speaker. . as the resolution states at the outset, the armed forces of the united states may only be used to defend and advance the national security interests of the united states.
not to enforce, to quote the president, the writ of the international community, end quote. not -- nor because of the united nations -- nor because of the arab league. yet these are what the president has repeatedly pointed to in justifying sending u.s. forces into action in libya. but what he has not done is explain to the american people and to congress how the situation in libya, if allowed to spiral out of control, poses a threat to u.s. national security interests. it is an increasingly important region, mr. speaker, with implications stretching into other areas that are vital to our nation. little if any details have been provided in response to repeated questions regarding u.s. goals, the scope of the operation, and other issues of direct relevance
to our national security. it is an open question as to whether the administration simply won't tell us or whether they just don't know the answers. members on both sides of the aisle are increasingly frustrated. and i share that frustration. many question the importance of libya to u.s. interests and especially the need for military engagement. many more are outright angry about the disregard with which the president and his administration have treated congress on the libya military engagement. but it is not surprising that there is a desire to simply say enough and to force the president to withdraw precipitously regardless of the consequences. but i believe that we would only make a difficult situation worse by taking such drastic action.
the negative impact would be widespread, mr. speaker. the news that the u.s. house of representatives had mandated a withdrawal of u.s. forces would send a ray of sunshine into the hole into which gaddafi is currently hiding. it would ensure his hold on power. it would be seen not only in libya but throughout the middle east and north africa -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady shall suspend. the house is not in order. out of respect for the gentlelady, please take your sidebar discussions outside the house chamber. the gentlelady may resume. ms. ros-lehtinen: i thank the speaker. it would be seen not only in libya but throughout the middle east and north africa as open season to threaten u.s. interests and destabilize our allies. pulling out of the nato
operation would also undermine our nato partners who after years of producting by -- prodding by us have finally begun to take more responsibility for ensuring security and stability in the region. how could we then argue that they must maintain their commitments to our allied efforts in afghanistan when we have just pulled the rug out from under them in libya? we must not let our frustration with the president's contempt for congress cloud our judgment and result in our taking action that would harm our standing, our credibility, and interest in the region. but clearly we must speak out. this resolution offered by speaker boehner would send an unambiguous warning to the president that he must either change course in his dealings with congress and the american people or have the decisions regarding u.s. involvement in
libya taken out of his hands. it states a fundamental truth that i assume most in this chamber agree with that u.s. forces must only be used to defend and advance the national security interests of the united states. it underscores that the president has not made a compelling case for u.s. military involvement based on u.s. interests. and it prohibits the deployment of u.s. ground forces in libya so that mission creep would not gradually lead us into an ever expanding conflict. it also requires the president to provide to congress the information that we should have had at the outset, including, mr. speaker, what are the political and military objectives of the united states and libya? how do we intend to achieve them? what specific commitments have we made to our nato operations? and how might these impact our
commitment in afghanistan? and what is the anticipated scope, the duration, and the anticipated cost of continued u.s. military involvement in libya? what is the relationship between opposition forces that are grouped under the interim transitional national council, and the muslim brotherhood, the libyan islamic fighting group, al qaeda, hezbollah, and other extremist groups. how well armed are these and other extremist groups? and how extensive are their activities in libya? who controls thousands of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles and chemical weapons that gaddafi has acquired? finally, mr. speaker, this resolution bluntly states that the president has neither sought nor received authorization by the congress for the continued
involvement of the united states armed forces in libya. if this clear warning doesn't get the attention at the white house, then more forceful action may be inevitable. the president can choose to act with the support of congress and with the support of the american people, but he will not be allowed to proceed without it. i urge my colleagues to vote for this strong and necessary resolution. with that i am pleased to yield one minute to the distinguished speaker of the house of representatives, mr. boehner of ohio. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for one minute. the speaker: let me thank my colleague for yielding. in march when the president committed our troops to nato's mission in libya, i said that he had a responsibility to the american people to define the mission. to explain what america's role
was in achieving that mission, and lay out how it was to be accomplished. he has not effectively done so. and the american people and the members of this house have questions and concerns that have gone unanswered. the president of the united states is our commander in chief. and i have always believed the combat decisions should be left to the commander in chief and to the generals on the ground. the house also has an obligation to heed the concerns of our constituents and to carry out our constitutional responsibilities. the resolution i have put forward expresses the will of the people in a responsible way that reflects our commitments to our troops and to our allies. let me lay out exactly what this resolution does. first, it establishes that the president has not asked for and that the congress has not
granted authorization for the introduction or continued involvement of our troops in libya. second, it reasserts congress' constitutional role to fund our troops. third, it requires the president to provide within 14 days information on that mission that should have been provided from the start. and lastly, it reaffirms the vote that we took last week that says there should be no troops on the ground in libya. i hope the president will recognize his obligations outlined in this resolution and provide this information to congress and in doing so better communicate to the american people what our mission in libya is and how it will be achieved. the resolution offered by my colleague from ohio, mr. kucinich, conveys the concerns of the american people, but it also mandates a precipitous
withdrawal from our role in supporting our nato allies in libya. in my opinion, that would undermine our troops and our allies which could have serious consequences for our broader national security. in my view, the gentleman's resolution goes too far. we may have differences regarding how we got here, but we cannot turn our backs on our troops and our nato partners who have stuck by us over the last 10 years. in 1991 my first vote as a member of this body, i was to authorize the use of force in the first gulf war. it was a consequential time but i think we did the right thing. today is no different. on behalf of the american people and our country, we have an obligation to support our troops in harm's way and to support our allies. this resolution puts the
president on notice. he has a chance to get this right and if he doesn't, congress will exercise its constitutional authority and we will make it right. so i would urge a yes on the resolution and a no on the kucinich resolution. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida reserves her time. the gentleman from california. mr. -- mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. i rise in opposition to this resolution. if the members of the house choose to pass the speaker's one chamber resolution, it should add one finding that we declare ourselves to be one big actually created potted plant. mr. berman: this resolution casts all kinds of aspersions on
the president. it states the president's failed to provide congress with a compelling rational for operations in libya. it implies there has been a withholding of documents and information from this body. could the president provide more information to the congress? of course. but we need to look not just at the president's failure to seek an authorization, but the refusal of this body to exercise its authority in this area. the onus rests with us to exercise the sacred duty of authorizing the use of force. a resolution like this with no operative language, with no invocation of the war powers resolution, and which was presented to members for the first time just 14 hours ago, simply perpetuates a dynamic of congressional acquiescence and acquiescence for the most part has gone on truly since the korean war. there are two choices here.
if the majority thinks that the president's initial efforts to stop a humanitarian catastrophe were wrong, or that current operations in libya do not have a compelling national security rational, it should support mr. kucinich's approach and offer a concurrent resolution pursuant to section 5-c of the war powers resolution requiring the removal of u.s. forces. if the majority has concerns with mr. kucinich's approach as many of us do, and believes terminating military action would have grave consequences for u.s. national security, it should simply authorize the use of force in liba incorporating the restrictions on ground forces that this resolution has, that the conyers language on the d.o.d. bill had. i would gladly join the speaker in co-sponsoring such an authorization of the use --
limited use of force. but pursuing a nonbinding house resolution that takes potshots at the president and amounts to nothing more than a sense of the congress is just an exercise in political gamesmanship. it is a pa can'tic effort to em bears the president without taking any ownership for the policy of the intervention. the majority not the president puts this body in the position of powerlessness through such toothless efforts. we are 60 days into this operation. either we should authorize this action or terminate. not play around with reporting requirements. the resolution is also confusing. it states that the president shall not deploy or maintain the presence of u.s. military units on the ground in libya, but as the majority well knows, u.s. military activities are limited to operations and nothing more. does the language mean the majority is ok with the current intervention in libya? the majority seems to be raising
a fuss while winking at the white house. that's not the way to legislate. finally, i object to the resolution because it is down right inaccurate. the resolution implies that there is no compelling national security rationale for the operations in libya. but u.s. interests are clear, they have been articulated by the administration and ironically by conservative advocates like bill kristol. we are in libya because we are averting a probable massacre against civilians. we are in libya because our nato partners need our help. refusal to act there would send a message to our nato allies who are putting their forces on the line in afghanistan that we are not a dependable partner. we are in libya because our friends struggling for democracy in the middle east are watching events there. if we fail to act or worse seek withdrawal today, what will you be saying to the activist in
tunisia and egypt whose fragile movements for democracy could be stifled by the destabilizing effect of a gaddafi-led government remaining in power. and what message would we be sending to assad and the other dictators and enemies about our staying power? . a gaddafi who is unleashed to commit acts of terrorism around the world will do so with unspeakable barbarity. we know his willingness to use terror, especially now he has nothing to lose. i cannot think of a more compelling rationale. i object that the humanitarian objectives are incompatible. in libya it is quite clear that stopping murder and preventing a refugee crisis very much correspond with u.s. national interests.
the republican sponsors of this resolution are trying to have it both ways. they want to criticize our president for taking the very action that many of them called for three months ago and they want to do so without taking any responsibility. in the process they're offering nothing but criticism and obstruction and endless second guessing. president bush once accused the democratic party of becoming the party of cut and run. well, it seems the running shoe is now on the other foot. it is a democratic president that is taking on a brutal tyrant and it is the republican party that refuses to back him. i urge my cretion to -- colleagues to take serious the u.s. involvement in libya and vote no on this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman reserve? mr. berman: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on house resolution 292 and
h.con.res 51 and with that, madam speaker, i yield two minutes from the gentleman from indiana, mr. burton. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana is recognized for two minutes. mr. burton: let me just say that the constitution of the united states and the war powers act prohibit the president were doing what he did. and i'm kind of torn because i stayed up late last night thinking about this whole issue. i believe we shouldn't have gone into libya in the first place and we shouldn't go into syria or another place without authorization of the congress of the united states, and that's the reason why i co-sponsored the kucinich resolution because we have to send a very strong signal we are not going to go to war without the people of this country supporting it. and the president did this unilaterally after talking to the arab league and the u.n. and others without the consent of the people of this country.
that's the first thing. the second thing is the boehner resolution i'm going to support but it doesn't go far enough. as far as it goes it's fine. but it talks only about boots on the ground, and most of the wars in which we've been involved are fought in the air with drones and missiles and airplanes, and we got -- about 2/3 of the missiles and over half of the assaults flown by the air -- the airplanes that are involved in this war, over 2/3 of those are used by the united states. this is an american conflict, and so when we talk about boots on the ground, that's not sufficient. now, i'm going to support it as far as it goes because the speaker's trying to move this in the right direction, but we shouldn't just limit this to boots on the ground. it should involve no military operation whatsoever without the consent of the congress and the people of this country. and when the speaker says boots
on the ground only unless we're going in to save one of our troops that are down in an air fight or shot down when they go in on a bombing run, then that in effect is putting boots on the ground anyhow to get those people out of there. so i'll support the boehner resolution, but i prefer the kucinich resolution because it sends a very strong signal and tells the president in no uncertain terms that you cannot take us to war without the consent of the people of this country. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. berman: thank you, madam speaker. and i initially just yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. berman: i think it's important to get the record straight on what we're doing and what we're not doing. no boots on the ground did not come because of this resolution we're considering now. this was the decision of the president, the commander in
chief, at the time. but the figures given by my friend from indiana don't reflect the reality of our participation. what are we doing now? well, we're not in the lead. the united states is contributing significantly to the operation. fighter aircraft for the suppression of the enemy air defense, i.s.r. aircraft, electronic warfare aircraft, aerial refueling aircraft, one guided missile destroyer and predator armed unmanned aerial surveillance systems. 24%, not 2/3 of the total aircraft, 27% of the total airplanes, 70% of intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance. now, there's no boots on the ground, but to me that involvement implicates the war powers resolution. this is within the meaning of that bill, and once again only
kucinich has before us a proposal that seeks to deal with the requirements of the war powers resolution. i just think we should get the record straight about what our involvement is. it's not as large as the previous speaker said, but it is significant. it's within my opinion it's within the terms of the war powers resolution. i'm now pleased to yield two minutes to my friend from california, the gentlelady from, ms. lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for two minutes. ms. lee: thank you very much, madam speaker. let me thank our ranking member for yielding. and let me just say first of all, i rise in opposition to the boehner resolution, but this debate is long overdue. on march 30, myself, along with congresswoman woolsey, grijalva, honda and waters, sent a letter to speaker boehner and majority leader
cantor that they hold a vote to continue the use of military force in libya. let me ask for unanimous consent, please, to insert the letter into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. : thank you, madam speaker. i'd like -- ms. lee: thank you, madam speaker. i'd like to read parts of the letter. this was dated march 30, mind you -- we the undersigned members rank to request the united states house of representatives immediately take steps to hold a debate and floor vote on the president's authority to continue the use of military force in libya. we fight the constitution, article 1, section 8. we go on to say that the united states has now been engaged militarily in libya since march 19, 2001. while we firmly believe that a robust debate and an up or down vote should have occurred in advance to the military action in libya, it is without question that such measures are
still urgently required. beyond congressional authorities in these matters, these deliberations are essential to ensuring that we as a country fully debate and understand the strategic goals, costs and long-term consequences of military action in libya. that's one paragraph of this sentence. now, madam speaker, over 60 days since our letter, the speaker has suddenly hastily scheduled a resolution in a resolution that does nothing but politicize in an extremely serious and what should be a nonpartisan issue. the war powers act forbids armed forces from engaging in military action -- may i have an additional minute? mr. berman: i yield the gentlelady an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. lee: it fore gids armed forces from engaging in foreign lands more than 60 days without
congressional authorization or without military force or without a declaration of war. we've been actively fighting for 77 days. this is not just about our mission in libya. and let me just say, i think our president, who has done a commendable job in handling the very complex range of foreign policy issues, but this is about any president, any administration. it's not about that. it's about standing up for congressional power granted in the constitution. and as our ranking member said, the kucinich amendment is the amendment that addresses this head on in a very honest and direct way. so we should reject this politically motivated resolution. it's a resolution that has just come up. we ask again the speaker and majority leader on march 30 to conduct a debate and an up or down vote. and we conclude in our letter that it's our position that the president has a constitutional obligation to seek specific statutory authority for offensive military action as he
should have done with regard to u.s. military engagement in libya. thank you, again, and thank you for yielding. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, madam speaker. i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, a valued member of our foreign affairs committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for three minutes. mr. connolly: thank you. i thank my colleague from florida. i rise respectfully in support of house resolution 292, which reasserts the congressional war making authority of section 8, article 1 of the constitution. and i respectfully disagree with our -- my ranking member of the house foreign affairs committee for whom i have enormous respect. i don't think this resolution takes gratuitous potshots at the president of the united states. i think it is a thoughtful expo significance of the problems in front of us. it buys the president time to comply without the disruption that the kucinich resolution
would cause, not only -- not only in libya but the ramifications for nato relationships and in the arab democratic spring. the resolution prohibits the -- declares congress has the constitutional prerogative to withhold funding for any unauthorized use of u.s. armed forces. it requires the administration to transmit to the house of representatives any records regarding congressional communication in operation odyssey dawn in libya within 14 days of passage. madam speaker, since before the passage of the war powers resolution in 1973, the executive branch, regardless of president or leader, has argued there are inherent constitutional powers contained in the constitutional reference to the president as commander in chief. if one argues that section 2, article 2 of the constitution grants the president inherent powers as commander in chief, then logically one ought to acknowledge congress also has inherent powers as the only entity expressly granted the power to declare war in that
document. according to the house report regarding war powers resolution, consultation means that the decision is pending on a problem and that members of congress are being asked by the president for their advice and opinions and in appropriate circumstances their approval of the action contemplated. this report language makes the intention of the war powers resolution clear. consultation ought to be active, not merely informative. in the war powers resolution, the term hostilities was used deliberately instead of armed conflict precisely because the former phrase -- broader nature. the war powers resolution is clear. congress must have a role with regard to the use and deployment of u.s. forces. the extent of that role has been the subject of debate as old as the united states itself. to go any further, a strict constructionist would argue that the war powers resolution itself limits congressional authority. the act of even acknowledging the need for a statutory framework to codify congress' powers in the constitution in
fact delutz those powers and may have the unintended effect of enhancing the executive's powers directly at the expense of congress. i urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this resolution, house resolution 292, to assert congressional authority and to buy the president time with which to comply. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. berman: i'd like to respond to my friend's arguments. i agree with every word he said except that congress -- this is a manifestation of the congress exercising its authority. this is an advocation of congress exercising its authority because nowhere in this resolution is the authorization for the operations that we want to authorize, that we should be authorizing if we think they're appropriate. the gentleman from ohio thinks this is appropriate.
we are not going to go to the executive branch and ask for them to request of us authorization. we have the institutional power to decide what to do and this resolution fails to take that option. so i think the gentleman makes a wonderful case for why this resolution is not sufficient to step up to our responsibilities under the constitution and the war powers resolution, and with that i would like to yield four minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. sherman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for four minutes. mr. sherman: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i've been here a long time and i've never come to this floor for the purpose of imposing an innocuous resolution. in fact, i voted for every piece of innocuous legislation and post office renaming in the last 15 years as far as i can remember.
and this is innocuous legislation. first it starts with a sense of congress about our opinion as to what should or shouldn't be done. it has a sentence that purports to prevent the president from putting ground forces in libya, but in fact just states that that's our policy, it's certainly not designed to prohibit the president from doing so, it just says it's our opinion that he shouldn't. and, oh, by the way, in the defense authorization bill we have real legislation that prohibits putting ground forces in libya. it then goes on to ask that a number of questions be answered. and there are some who think, oh, that's important. those who think that the questions propounded in this resolution are actually going to get us useful information are insulting the faculty of the law schools of america.
because both the pentagon and the state department have lawyers capable of writing long and meaningless answers to every question we propound. and as for getting documents, some of the documents demanded we already have and the rest those same lawyers will be writing long documents about executive privilege. so we have here a document that at most is just the questions for the record that the chairwoman of our committee allows me to add at the end of so many hearings. hardly earth shaking. certainly innocuous. but, ok, so it's innocuous or is it? this is innocuous legislation that plays a particular role in avoiding the constitutional role of this congress. it allows us to side step the war powers act, it gives cover to those who don't want to authorize or refuse to authorize
. it says, we're an advisory body, we have some questions so that we can give good advice, we give you -- we'll give the president some advice, it is part of the trend of an aggrandizing executive and a derelict congress, a congress that almost is complicit in this slow process by which we are not legislators, we are not deciders, we inquire and we advise. the constitution is clear but the war powers act is more clear. the president must ask for congressional authorization and we have to act. we have to review the proposals and i believe our ranking member would have one, that would say, ok, what are we going to authorize? under what conditions? what demands will we make of our allies in libya?
to perhaps turn over to us or at least disassociate themselves from the al qaeda operatives in their midst, are we going to limit the duration, are we going to limit the scope, are we going to oppose limits on the total cost? with this resolution we can avoid all those questions. we can avoid demanding a withdrawal, we can avoid limiting the authorization and we can allow the president to continue to write the blank check that apparently he believes he has and we can do it all while disassociating ourselves with anything unpopular that ever happens over the skies of libya. now is not the time for us to shirk our responsibilities. our responsibility is to act as a policymaking body. i ask the gentleman for one more minute. mr. berman: madam speaker, how much time is remaining on each side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california has 4 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. berman: i yield the
gentleman an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an additional minute. mr. sherman: thank you. now is the time for us to play the role that the war powers act provides. because this is not an immediate short-term emergency situation, it has gone on for much longer than 60 days. it should not go further. now, 208 members of this congress voted for my amendment yesterday to say that we should not expend funds in violation of the war powers act. and they were willing to vote for it even though i put it on a bill to which it didn't really pertain. thank you for those votes. but now, please come back here and say it's time to enforce the war powers act, it's time not to dodge the war powers act, it's time for our policy over the skies in libya to be determined by the president in congress, not the president advised by congress. vote no on this resolution, don't use it as a side step, go
back to your constituents and say you are for voting either for a withdrawal from libya or for full authorization or for a limited authorization. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, madam speaker. i'm pleased to yield four minutes to my friend and colleague from florida, mr. young, the chairman of the appropriations subcommittee on defense. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida voiced for four minutes. mr. young: madam speaker, i thank my friend and the chairman for yielding me this time because i think it is important to stress the importance of the boehner resolution. it deals specifically, especially on page 4 and page 7 of the resolution, specifically with the constitution. and the constitutional responsibility of the administration and the congress to work together, especially in matters of national security. the chairman of the defense
appropriations committee, as my colleague has said, my responsibility is to provide for the funding for any military operation that is approved by the commander in chief and approved by the congress. on the matter of libya, on april 1 i sent to the president a letter trying to exercise my responsibility as chairman, a letter expressing support for our troops but asking certain questions. how long do you think this will last? how much do you think it will cost? how much of a future commitment have we made? what will be the source of the funding for this operation? and here more than two months later, still this official request from the appropriations committee remains unanswered by the administration and that's just not right.
the constitution is pretty clear , article 1, section 9 of the constitution in part says, no money shall be drawn from the treasury but in consequence of appropriations made by law. and a regular statement and a current on the receipt and expenditures of all public money should be published from time to time. well, so far on the libya issue this article 1, section has been totally ignored -- section 9 has been totally ignored. it's just not right. it's a violation and in my opinion contra vents the constitution itself. when i asked for that information, the only thing i've been able to get on the cost of this libyan operation is in bits and pieces we have added and $750 million already spent on the libyan mission.
they've not confirmed that but we have put together in our own edition bits and pieces on that. but again we have received no request whatsoever. where is the money to pay for the libyan operation coming from? what account is it coming from? is it coming out of personnel costs, soldiers' pay? is it coming out of medical care, is it coming out of training for our troops? what accounts are being used? we have a right and an obligation under the constitution to know the answer to that. and speaker boehner's resolution calls very sharp attention to that issue. so i think it's important that we pass -- that 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. so, madam speaker, i do ask that the letter that i sent to president, which has remained unanswered for more than two months, that it be included at this point in the record so that my colleagues can see that it was a very, very legitimate and very conciliatory request as basically an offer to support our troops and any legitimate activity. so we're still waiting, we're standing by hoping that we do hear from the president very soon and maybe shortly after we pass the boehner resolution. and i thank the chairlady for the time and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: yes, madam speaker, i'm pleased to yield one minute
to the gentleman from iowa, mr. kucinich. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for one minute. mr. kucinich: i thank mr. berman. i ask unanimous consent in defense of mr. burton's description of u.s. involvement already in libya to put into the record an article from the guardian u.k. dated may 22 which talks about the united states having 50% of the ships, 50% of the planes, 66% of the personnel, 93% of the cruise missiles. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. kucinich: and i just want to say briefly, madam speaker, that this article that was written about 10 days ago, if it's true it points out that we've undertaken a huge mission
through the united states in the name of nato now without coming to the congress, that's what we're debating, of course, but if on the other hand the information that the administration has communicated as of late to the congress, if that suggests a lighter footprint then there should be no difficulty in pulling out of libya in 15 days and if there is we need to start asking questions about how deeply enmeshed we are if our -- we are, if our participation is truly no boots on the ground. i thank the gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, madam speaker. i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. receivers, a member of the financial services committee, and a lieutenant colonel in the united states army with the distinguished 26-year military
career. stivers, sorry. mr. stivers: that's all right, mr. chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for two minutes. mr. stivers: thank you. i'd like to thank the chairwoman for yielding me time. i rise in support of the speaker's resolution. with 26 years of military service, my experience has taught me many lessons and those lessons give me pause and concern with regard to the kucinich resolution. i think we need to be prudent, thoughtful and measured in the way we end our involvement in libya and i don't believe that the kucinich resolution does that. even though the president did not follow proper procedures answered should have allowed congress to debate and decide the issue, a 15-day withdrawal would cause other issues. certainly the u.s. is providing current -- currently the u.s. is providing certain refueling logistics and other support functions for our nato allies and unfortunately you create a 15-daytimeline, those allies
might not have time to plan or build capacity to resource their plan and effectively continue their operations. i don't agree with how the president's handled our current military mission in libya and i don't think he's currently explained the national security interest of our mission, however i think the troops that have been called to action have performed admirably and i thank them for their service. but now we're involved and a timeframe for withdrawal in the kucinich resolution would hurt our nato allies, the same allies who have stood by us in afghanistan for 10 years. they deserve our cooperation in any transition. i support the speaker's alternative in libya, i think it asks tough questions of the president, requires him to explain our national security interests and justify a strategy to congress and to the american people. if the president doesn't answer those questions within 14 days,
i believe congress should continue to assert its constitutional authority. therefore i support the speaker's alternative resolution as a way forward in libya and in response to the gentleman from california, i'd like to say that i think it's important we get information to make timely decisions. thank you, madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. berman: yes, madam speaker, to yield myself 15 seconds in response to the previous speaker , what i'm curious about is what the resolution doesn't tell us. if the president doesn't provide us the information within 14 days, what are we doing? the resolution is silent. this is a resolution filled with things we want and are asking for and demanding and are rumbling about with no consequences. i yield a minute to the gentlelady from california, ms. woolsey.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. mr. berman: former member of the committee. ms. woolsey: i thank the gentleman for yielding. madam speaker, this is a here we go again moment on the house floor. two weeks ago the kucinich amendment passed the house overwhelmingly with a total bipartisan vote because it was the right thing to do. but, no, the other side of the aisle can't stand to let us have an initiative, the right thing to do that they really could agree to. 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 its authority, take its responsibility and do the right thing regarding libya. vote no on the boehner resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida. the gentlelady continues to reserve. ms. ros-lehtinen: i reserve the right to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. berman: madam speaker, i have no request for time and prepared to yield back if the gentlelady is. ms. ros-lehtinen: i will use up our remaining minute or so. mr. berman: i will yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, madam speaker. i was -- will take up the rest of our time. madam speaker, the resolution offered by the speaker is the responsible approach. it expresses congressional
intent. it affords one last opportunity to the president and his administration to work with us in congress to advance u.s. interests in the region. and i hope that the president is listening and that this resolution will serve as a wake-up call leading to immediate consultation. and frankly we have not had that as we would like. if in 14 days, as it says in this resolution, the president has not complied with the request included in the resolution, then this house will consider the next steps. and i urge, therefore, a yes vote on the boehner resolution, a responsible approach to the president to work with us and a plea to give us the information that we requested. with that, madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time yields back the balance of her time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for 10 minutes. mr. mckeon: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mckeon: madam speaker, i rise in support of this resolution. i do not believe that the president has provided adequate justification for our military operations in libya, nor why continued humanitarian interest is in our interest.
more than two weeks ago i sent a letter to the president outlining our concerns, our nato role, the administration is asking the department of defense to make an additional $400 billion in cuts. to date, i've not received a reply. yet, i believe that forcing the hasty withdrawal of u.s. forces from nato operations in libya would embolden gaddafi and grateful damage our credibility with our allies. consequently, such a move could have dramatic, negative, second order effects on operations that are critical to our national security. such as operations in afghanistan. i believe speaker boehner's resolution addresses much of the frustration shared by members of this body. the resolution re-enforces provisions in the recently passed national defense authorization act prohibiting the escalation of u.s.
participation without expressed authorization from congress. this resolution requires the president to clearly outline the strategic interest that justify intervention in libya. to explain how the operational means being employed will secure them. it requires a prompt and transparent accounting of costs as well as information regarding the capacity and intention of the rebel forces. this information is essential to allow congress to execute its constitutionally mandated oversight role of military operations. again, i fully agree that the administration has been disturbingly dismissive of congress' role in the authorization of military force. but i also feel that passing this resolution is the most effective way of holding the president accountable without sacrificing other vital national interests that would be damaged by a precipitous
withdrawal from nato operations. madam speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized for 10 minutes. mr. smith: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: thank you. i do thank speaker boehner and representative kucinich for bringing these resolutions and bringing this issue to the floor. i believe this is an issue that congress should debate, discuss and ultimately express its opinion on. we have not done that. we are now past 90 days that this mission has been going on in libya. i prefer a much cleaner resolution that simply came out and made a resolution of approval of the president's mission and of the mission that we and nato have undertaken in libya and give a chance to vote an up or down. mr. kucinich's is much more straightforward. it's a resolution of disapproval. again, it gives us an opportunity to debate the issue and express the will of congress. i oppose mr. boehner's resolution. i also oppose mr. kucinich's resolution because i don't
think we should pull away from this mission, should pull out of what nato is doing and the very important work that's going on in libya. mr. boehner's resolution doesn't do any of that. it boldly states that the president has not made a case for the mission in libya. i very strongly disagree with that assessment. now, i will agree, and mr. mckeon and i share the frustration that prior to the launching of this mission there was inadequate of communication between this president and this congress and the president and the american people for reasons of getting into that mission. since that time the president has made it clear why we went into libya. we had a unique situation. i do not believe that the american mirblet should intervene in every conflict in every country. it shouldn't conflict in almost any of them. it takes a unique set of circumstances to call for that intervention. in libya we had, i believe, that unique set of circumstances. number one, we had broad international support. the u.n., nato, the arab league, all looked at that situation and said intervention
was necessary. number two, we had a clear humanitarian crisis. there was no doubt at the time we intervened that if we had not moammar gaddafi would have slaughtered his own people and reasserted control over libya. he made it clear that was what he was going to do. it was clear that the people rising up for the legitimate opportunity to be heard in their government did not have the power and the force to stop him. we did. if we had not acted there was no question that muammar gaddafi would be in charge of libya and we would have shared at least some piece of the responsibility. we in the united states have the power, the force to stop a humanitarian catastrophe and chose not to act, and that's one of the most critical elements in deciding whether or not we should intervene. can we intervene in a successful way? yes, there are many countries throughout the world that face crises right now. in syria, in the sudan, in congo. whole bunch of places. most of those places there is
no clear military mission that we could accomplish and achieve. in libya there was. if which intervened we could stop gaddafi from regaining control of this country. at the time we understood there was no guarantee that that would mean he would be driven from power immediately, but we could at least stop him from doing that. it was a humanitarian crisis that our actions could prevent. i think it made sense and i think the president has clearly articulated that. for congress to pass a resolution saying they have no earthly idea what the president is doing in libya simply means they have not been paying attention for the last couple of months. it's been made clear. i think it's appropriate that we ask the president to regularly keep in touch with us, let us know where the mission is going. i supported the resolution that said no ground troops in libya. i think that's a step too far. i don't think that's something that would be accomplished militarily. i think that's appropriate. the part of the resolution that i oppose is that the president has made no national security case for why we should be involved in libya. i believe that he has.
i don't think we should support a resolution saying otherwise. to have cyrimly allowed the libya -- libya to fall apart and not helped a people that we could clearly help, that were legitimately calling for greater freedom and greater opportunity i think would have been a mistake. so i will oppose the boehner resolution. i will also oppose the kucinich resolution because i don't think we should pull out of the mission. again, i thank all those involved for bringing the debate to the house floor so we can have the debate, so we in congress can assert our authority and express our opinion on this very, very important issue. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: madam speaker, i yield 1 1/2 minutes to my friend and colleague, the chairman of the subcommittee on tactical error and land forces, the gentleman from maryland, mr. bartlett. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. bartlett: thank you for yielding, and i rise in support of the boehner resolution. i'm not here today to argue whether or not we should be in
libya. that is an argument for another day. what i'm here today concerned with is how we got into libya, because i think that was a very important precedent. we went into libya on march 19, operation odyssey dawn, just 12 days later the house committee met and secretary gates was there, and i made this statement. i'm among many people who feel that president obama has involved the united states in an unconstitutional and illegal war in libya. that same day i dropped h.r. 1323 which asks the president to find offsets and nondefense discretionary spending to pay for the war in libya. that was not authorized by the congress because we have no money, and i shouldn't ask my kids and my grandkids to pay for that war. this is not the king's army. the power to move our army into
libya is not inherent in commander in chief. if it were they would not have put in article 1, section 8 the responsibility of the congress to declare war. this is an unconstitutional and illegal war. i think it sets a very dangerous precedent. i hope that we make that very clear in our deliberations today. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman continues to reserve. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: i yield 1 1/2 minutes, madam speaker, my friend and colleague, the chairman of the subcommittee on readiness, the gentleman from virginia, mr. forbes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. forbes: thank you, madam speaker. i rise in support of the boehner resolution, but not because i feel that the president has stated a correct policy for us to be in libya. i think he has and all you'll hear on the floor today will lead to a policy that if we adopt it will put us in war with five or six other countries tomorrow.
but secondly, i don't support the fact that how we got in there because clearly he didn't go through the proper procedures that we need, didn't comply with the war powers act. madam speaker, i also realize that regardless of that disagreement he is the president of the united states, and as such he has information about our national defense that many members of congress don't have that we need to have shared with us. and second, madam speaker, as the president of the united states, when it comes to foreign policy issues of this magnitude, we need to give him some latitude to present that case and make it to this congress. madam speaker, the boehner resolution does that in a reasonable way by giving him 14 days to present that information. but i believe as many people do at the end of that 14 days, if he hasn't done so, hasn't made that case, hasn't given us that information, we need to either be prepared to launch the subpoenas to get the information or we need to be back on this floor taking action to cut off the funding of what's taking place there. and with that, madam speaker, i hope we'll support the boehner resolution, i think it's a
reasonable approach, the correct approach and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. smith: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington continues to reserve his time. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: madam speaker, i yield 1 1/2 minutes to my friend and colleague, the chairman of the subcommittee on strategic forces, the gentleman from ohio, mr. turner. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. turner: thank you, chairman mckeon. the president has not made the case for a military conflict in libya. he has told us who we are against, gaddafi, but he has not told white house we are for. secretary gates -- told us who we are for. secretary gates has told us we know very little about the opposition, we know very little about the rebels. we don't know their geopolitical view to their neighbors, we don't know their view to us. we do not know their commitment to domestic diversity. are we going to have atrocities? we don't know their ideology, we don't know their preferred form of government and we don't know their commitment to nonproliferation of weapons of mass destruction, an issue that's important in libya.
the president has used united nations approval of civil protection to wage all-out war on gaddafi without congressional approval or american support. u.s. admiral locklear in charge of the nato operations against libya recently stated that ground troops will be needed to provide stability in libya once the gaddafi regime falls. yesterday white house press secretary said he believes that the president has the support of the majority of the members of congress. i do not think so. i offered a resolution, house resolution 58, that would voice this body's disapproval of the president's actions in libya. 75 members have co-sponsored this resolution. i believe it's important for this body's voice to be heard. the president has not provided any information as to why we are doing this, what a post-gaddafi regime will look like in libya and what will be our involvement. he is committing us to an extended military action and for congress to be relevant our voices need to be heard. i support the speaker's resolution and i urge my
colleagues to co-sponsor house concurrent resolution 58. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. moran. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for two minutes. mr. moran: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, i rise to oppose this motion. the war crimes tribunal is about to prosecute rad itch. 16 years later. what they finally got, why, because he masterminded the massacre of over 8,000 innocent civilians. we took the lead in the balkans. it was a nato effort. but i think we all know that nato could not have put it an end to those massacres, that
genocide, had we not taken the lead. we ought to act responsibly and we had to act in a timely and forceful manner. now, more recently there have been any number of times since 2000 when the president has had to use american troops for humanitarian reasons against terrorist threats, against whatever was inconsistent fundamentally with our moral values and principles but also endangered american civilians and troops. to tie the president's hands, whether it be a republican or a democratic president, is wrong. we should not be doing this. of course we should be advising the president, working with the president, whoever that president might be. and we have our committee
leadership, we have any number of opportunities to do that. but to pass legislation that is designed to tie the president's hands is inconsistent with the legacy of this body which is to do what is necessary to protect america's interests at home and abroad. may i have one more minute? mr. smith: i yield the gentleman an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. moran: with regard to libya, we don't know where a what the outcome is going to be in libya. we do know that gaddafi is a bad guy. he's not an ally, he's not even reliable in terms of working with in any economic or foreign policy measure. it is an opportunity to establish a government that we can work with. we can't control that government. we're not sure of the outcome. but we know the people putting
their government together today want to work with the united states, but they need american support. obviously under the umbrella of nato, that's nato's purpose. but none of us should be so naive as to think that nato can operate independent of united states leadership. that's just not the case. we have made the investment in our military capability, we have established ourselves as the world superpower and with that role comes a responsibility to use it appropriately. let's defeat this amendment. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: madam speaker, i yield one minute to my friend and colleague, the gentleman from virginia, mr. rigell. mr. rigell: i rise in strong support of house resolution 292 i object to the u.s. murl at that -- military intervention in libya.
my friend and colleague from virginia actually has far more confidence in the intent and the purpose of the rebels than i do. i've heard in testimony, in armed services committee, from multiple top leaders in our country that we simply don't know enough about the rebels and in my view not one single provision of the war powers resolution has been met that would legitimize the president's intervention in libya. since president obama announced military strikes, secretary defense gates admitted that operation odyssey dawn was not in the interest, in the vital national interest of the united states. and this legislation, the boehner resolution reflects and meets the deep obligation we have to support our troops and to uphold the constitution. madam speaker, i ask my colleagues to support this resolution and i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: madam speaker, i reserve but i would inquire, i am simply going to give -- use up the rest of the time myself. do you have additional speakers? then i reserve my time. thank you. mr. mckeon: madam speaker, i yield one minute to my friend and colleague, the gentleman from mississippi, mr. to latzow. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized for one minute. mr. palazzo: thank you, madam speaker. we do not support the president's handling of libya and i agree with my constituents. our country, our military and their families are fatigued by 10 years of war in iraq and afghanistan. the white house is yet to clearly explain to the american people why we should commit more of our precious blood and treasure to a third war. where's the leadership americans expect and deserve when it comes to committing our troops to foreign wars? with reservation, i will support house resolution 292, only because the united states must honor our commitment to our friends and allies engaged in the libyan conflict.
this resolution gives the president 14 days to explain to congress the scope of our objectives in libya and if he fails we should immediately withdraw our support from the conflict and as much as we can care for our friends and allies, we cannot cast aside the laws of our land. mr. president, the american people and this congress have questions and deserve answers. we cannot afford a failure in leadership when american lives are on the line. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: i would remind members that they should direct their comments to the chair. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman continues to reserve. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: may i inquire as to how much time we have left? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california has one minute and the gentleman from washington has 2 1/2 minutes. mr. mckeon: and we have the right to close? then we just have one speaker so we'll reserve our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance
of his time. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: the president has said from the outset that our role in this mission will be limited. limited by critical -- but critical. we are not committing troops, we are not committing the full force of the u.s. military, but what we are contributing, as mr. moran said, is absolutely critical to the success of the mission. we are supporting our nato allies in making sure that this mission is carried out in a very limited and very critical way. and i just want to emphasize again that muammar gaddafi is not someone that is in the best national security interests of the united states of america. he has a long, long history of weapons of mass destruction, of supporting terrorist groups, of economisting terrorist acts against united states citizens and in general being an unstable and destabilizing figure. when the president of libya decided to rise up to throw him out, it was a very appropriate thing for them to do. now, we all wish that mr. gaddafi would have gone quietly and simply, that certainly would have been the easier way to go, but he didn't.
and to protect those people who had legitimate aspirations for a better government, we needed to intervene military -- militarily to assist. i think in this instance the best thing about this is we were not alone. the arab league, the united nations, nato took the lead. there is a great deal of instability throughout the middle east and that is unquestionably in the national security interests of the united states of america to do whatever we can to try and reduce that instability and make sure that we have friends, allies and also governments that legitimately represent the aspirations of their people. that is one of the greatest problems we've had, we have supported governments in the past in the middle east who didn't have the support of their people. we need not just the support of governments, we need the support of the people in that region, this is a critical opportunity to gain that support. i believe that's clearly in the national security interests of the american people. so i do not agree with mr. boehner's resolution in saying that the president has not articulated the case, he has. we in the house should vote, whether we approve it or not, but i don't think it is correct
to say that the case has not been made. let's have a vote in this body, as we will in the kucinich resolution, of whether or not we support what's going on there or not but we should not simply be asking the president for something he has already provided. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: madam speaker, i yield the remaining balance of our time to my friend and colleague, the gentleman from indiana, a member of the armed services committee, mr. young. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana is recognized for i believe one minute. mr. young: thank you, madam speaker. i rise in support as many of my colleagues have of house resolution 292, because this congress is a co-equal branch of government. and we must never be a quiet co-equal branch, especially in military matters. when the u.s. ends -- sends its sons and daughters into harm's way, it must only be done to protect america's vital national security interests and where there's a clear plan to advance those interests. we know our nation's insolvent with a national debt of over $14 trillion, our troops are already
overextended, we're hearing, in afghanistan and pakistan. meanwhile the administration's talking about defense spending cuts at the very same time it's piling on this new mission, a humanitarian mission, a narrow humanitarian mission, we're told, on top of all our other commitments. now what gives? this congress needs to be heard. our president has failed to properly define what vital national security interests justify this military intervention and with this resolution we give him 14 days to do so. now, sadly and ironically, by becoming involved in libya, our nato alliance, which does remain a vitally important national security interest, may well have been put at risk. so this congress will be heard. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 294, the previous question is ordered on the resolution. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it.
the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: madam speaker, i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays have been requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek redskin this nation? ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, madam speaker. pursuant to house resolution 294, i call up house concurrent resolution 51 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 51, concurrent resolution directing the president pursuant to section 5-c of the war powers resolution, to remove the united states armed forces from libya. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 294, the concurrent resolution is considered as read. the concurrent resolution will be debatable for one hour with 30 minutes controlled by the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, and 30 minutes controlled by the gentleman from ohio, mr. kucinich. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida. miss ros-lehtinen: thank you -- ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, madam speaker. i ask unanimous consent that the ranking member of the committee on foreign affairs, my friend, mr. berman, be allowed to control 15 minutes of my time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you. madam speaker, i yield myself
such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, madam speaker. i rise in opposition to house con.res. 51 directing the president to remove united states armed forces from libya. the president has failed to make the illegal -- legal even constitutional case he owes to the congress and american people before committing american forces to a voluntary conflict. but the situation as it stands today is an important -- poses an important u.s. national security consideration and it requires this body to oppose the kucinich resolution. these are, what are these considerations, madam speaker, these are the sudden u.s. withdrawal from libyan operations proposed by this resolution could do irrepresent rabble harm to the nato alliance and ultimately undermine support for nato efforts in afghanistan. also the longer gaddafi is able to cling to power and continue
fighting, the more that he will destabilize the larger region. conflict is already spilling over into neighboring countries, tunisia, for example, which is undergoing a fragile transition of its own. also there are significant proliferation concerns at stake, including the need to secure libyan chemical munitions and prevent the flow of heavy and light weaponry from leaking across the porous borders of libya. also, extremist organizations that pose a credible threat to american interests including al qaeda and the islamic magrib, already are exploiting the opportunity to arm themselves and organize. so while i share the frustration of my colleagues, i am deeply concerned that an abrupt withdrawal of support for the nato nation would have repercussions that extend far
beyond the borders of libya. adoption of this resolution would send a signal to gaddafi that if he can just hang on for just 15 days more, the alliance will crumble and he can resume his destructive behavior and his destabilizing activities. in egypt the stability necessary to prevent extremist elements from seizing control could be compromised if the conflict in libya remains unresolved. furthermore, madam speaker, providing gaddafi free reign by forcing the u.s. to rapidly withdraw from the nato operation would pose an even more virulent threat to such other allies in the region as israel. an emboldened gaddafi regime would be in a position to provide both destabilizing types and amounts of conventional weapons as well as
unconventional capabilities through new and existing smuggling routes. to violent extremists in lebanon, the west bank, and gaza, extremists who seek the disruption of israel. a u.s. withdrawal in the manner that is called for in this resolution, in fact mandated in this resolution, could have detrimental consequences for countries such as jordan and the united arab emirates who provide critical support to the united states and our nato allies in afghanistan. and as operations experts from the department of defense warned yesterday, an abrupt withdrawal from libya operations as this resolution demands would severely undermine support by our european union -- european allies. in fact, it would have a detrimental effect on nato's efforts in afghanistan both in
terms of weakening our mission partners and emboldening the taliban, al qaeda, and associated elements. it would compromise the safety and security of u.s. forces that at this very moment are engaged in a battle against heavily armed enemy forces in afghanistan. madam speaker, as many of my colleagues know, my daughter-in-law, lindsay, served in iraq and in afghanistan. i also have two committee staffers, one in the army reserve and one in the marine reserves, who recently returned from serving a year each in afghanistan. they have emphasized that the potential dangers to our troops there of a nato pullout or decrease of forces in afghanistan due to a need to refocus them on ongoing operations in libya is indeed dangerous for the united states. they have emphasized that operations in libya do not exist
in a vacuum. recall that the house just this last week adopted an amendment to the national defense authorization bill to prevent u.s. military or private security contractors from establishing or maintaining a ground presence in libya. spiker boehner -- speaker boehner has offered a resolution that we discussed previously that further underscores that the congress does not support putting u.s. boots on the ground in libya. now, many have argued that congress needs to strongly exert its prerogatives under war powers. we must do so, madam speaker, but do so in a prudent and responsible manner that protects the legitimate national security interests of the united states. this resolution, madam speaker, does not do so. so i urge a no vote and with that, madam speaker, i reserve the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from ohio. mr. kucinich: i yield two minutes to the prime co-sponsor of this important constitutional initiative, the gentleman from indiana, mr. burton. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana is recognized. mr. burton: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i want to start off by saying this is not a paragraph zahn issue. i'm very happy to co-sponsor this legislation because it's the only legislation we are discussing today that has teeth in it. it really deals with the problem. now, gaddafi is a bad guy. and he ought to be replaced. there's a lot of tyrants around the world that ought to be replaced. but should the united states go to war any place we want to get rid of a bad guy unless it's in our national interest or unless we are at risk or there's been a declaration of war? no. we could go to war any place we want to. if we just say this guy's a bad guy and he's killing his own people, we could do it in syria,
ivory coast, we could do it all over the place. but the congress of the united states is the body that's supposed to be consulted by the president before we go to war. the president did not do this. we are contributing about 2/3, or at least half of the war effort. it's cost over $700 million and it will be over a billion before it's all over. and the president has taken us into this conflict without the authority of the congress, without the support of the congress. he did get the arab league. he did get the united nations. he did talk to the french and the english, but he didn't talk to the people's house, the congress of the united states. and the president did not have the authority to do this. now, the reason i support the kucinich resolution is it sends a clear message to the white house that cannot -- they cannot do this again. they cannot unilaterally go into syria or the ivory coast or any place else without talking to
the people who represent the -- the congress who represents the people all across this country. the president should not have done this. and the only legislation that really deals with the problem today is the kucinich resolution, which i co-sponsored. i'm a co-author of it. now, i am going to vote for the boehner resolution because it does send a signal, but it does not solve the problem. the only way to solve the problem is to let the president know you cannot, should no, and will not be able to do this again. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: thank you. i rise in opposition to the resolution. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. berman: i just listened to my chairman, i'm very fond of her, make a very compelling case
for the national security interests we have in seeing through this operation that is now going on against gaddafi and libya. in detail with specifics i completely support it. the only thing i didn't hear was, mr. president, while you didn't consult with us enough and you haven't provided all the information, i want to thank you as our president and our commander in chief for pursuing america's national security interests in this current operation. great job, keep it going, be a little better on the information, a little more on the consulting, but stick with it. that's what i didn't hear. i want to compliment mr. kucinich for offering this resolution. we disagree on the president's policy. my colleague wants to withdraw forces while i support the ongoing operations in libya. but unlike the majority, mr.
kucinich is taking seriously this body's fundamental responsibility to legislate on the use of force. the president commenced combat operations in libya to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe. a massacre at the hands of gaddafi's forces. there was bipartisan support for this effort. and the president prevented massive loss of life through the decisive use of force. we don't have to speculate about that. gaddafi told the entire world about his plans for benghazi, to go tour to door, closet to closet, to find and eliminate his opponents. i will continue to believe the mission in libya is relevant and necessary as does my chairman and as does the speaker. and i believe it's achieving success. gaddafi's forces have been driven out of eastern libya and out of misrata in the west. high level defections are on the increase. demonstrations are once again
breaking out in tip poely. suggesting a weakening government control. progress is slower than we like but it is steady. efforts to force a withdrawal of forces would reverse this progress and jeopardize the lives of hundreds of thousands of libyan now benefiting from the nato operation. and this resolution demands not merely withdrawal, it demands withdrawal within 15 dis. think -- 15 days. think about what a removal in 15 days as required by this resolution would mean. would he would be giving gaddafi a free hand to maintain control in libya and continue his campaign against civilians. we would be thumbing our nose at our nato partners whose support on the ground has been and continues to be so crucial in afghanistan. we would likely threaten stability of every arab nation where democracy has its best hope -- for the very arab nations where democracy has its best hope of success, egypt and tunisia, each of which flank
libya and affected by its internal developments. we would send a message to assad of syria and dictators everywhere that our support for freedom and humane governance is at best luke warm and transitory . hang in there for a few weeks, mr. dictator. we'll go ahead. and as the families of the victims of pan am 103 know better than any of us, a gaddafi who is unleashed to commit acts of terrorism around the world will do so with unspeakable barbarity. he might even reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction. we need to give the president more time to pursue this mission, to do otherwise would be to alienate our allies, to damage our regional interests, and once again to invite a horrible massacre of libyan civilians. i urge my colleagues to join me in opposing this resolution. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you,
madam speaker. i yield three minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. mckeon, the chairman of the committee on armed services. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for three minutes. mr. mckeon: madam speaker, i thank the gentlelady for yielding. i rise in opposition to house continuing resolution 51, although i share my colleagues' concerns regarding our military operations in libya. in fact, i sent a letter to the president two weeks ago to which i have not received a reply, making it clear i would have serious reservations regarding a request for authorization of military force in libya. moreover, i support house resolution 292 which we have also debated here today. i do not believe the president has adequately sought congressional authorization, nor has he provided sufficient information for congress to perform its constitutional oversight. nevertheless, i cannot support the resolution before us. this resolution would require the president to remove all u.s. forces within 15 days.
such a short lead time offers our allies no time to prepare for the withdrawal of u.s. forces and make no mistake, the hasty withdrawal of u.s. forces would cripple allied operations and embolden gaddafi. the united states provides adequate capabilities that our nato allies and other partners cannot provide. either in kind or at all levels required. we provide over 75% of all aerial refueling. 70% of all intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance. nearly a quarter of all the aircraft, including fighter aircraft for enemy air key fences, armed predators providing aerial surveillance and strike capability, including low level targeted strikes in urban centers where gaddafi's forces have entrenched themselves, and electronic warfare aircraft for jamming and support in targeting. .
reasonable people can disagree with the extent to which involvement in libya was in our national strategic interest. but having committed our forces, a precipitous withdrawal would certainly have implications for u.s. national security and our strategic interests around the world. we should make certain allied efforts are not undermined at the last minute. as chairman of the armed services committee, i will continue to ensure that the committee conducts robust oversight of ongoing military operations and i will continue to press the president for answers. but this resolution is not the appropriate means to bring about an end to the stalemate in libya. i urge my colleagues to join me in opposition and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from ohio. mr. kucinich: i recognize mr. rangel, i yield two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for two minutes.
mr. rangel: let me thank mr. kucinich and i support his efforts over the years, but especially today in allowing this very sensitive constitutional question to be debated. i ask and almost pleaded that he allow me to follow my friend, dan burton, because nothing could prove to our colleagues and those that know both of us how nonpartisan this issue is and should be. this is not a question really of past presidents who always thought they were doing the best for the united states of america when they put out men and -- put our men and women in harm's way. none of them thought they were doing anything immoral. this is not a democratic problem, it's not a republican problem, it's not a problem of the president of the united states, not nixon, not kennedy, not johnson, certainly not president obama, certainly not the bushes. it's a problem of the house of representatives and the united states senate. this is a congressional problem.
we have not fulfilled our responsibility. some people have heard say, well, this isn't reached the level, it should be more. well, ask the men and women that make the sacrifices and come home and leave their fallen friends there, whether this was a war. ask those mothers and fathers and children that's lost their loved ones whether this is war. it's easy for us to say that we're not going to get involved, let the president have the authority. but the final analysis when we go to the funerals, these brave men and women may not come from your districts because they don't have to make the sacrifices in these united states. we know who has to volunteer, who makes the sacrifices and we sit back and wash our hands and say we didn't think that this reached to the level where we had to give approval to the president of the united states. i'm not saying that the president is right or wrong, i'm
saying we are and, mr. kucinich, i thank you for the opportunity because no longer should there be a debate as to whether or not it's little bit yarks whether it's korea or wherever it is. we have a constitutional responsibility. thank you forgiving us an opportunity to talk about this -- for giving us an opportunity to talk about this as members of the united states congress. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, madam speaker. i'm honored to yield five minutes to the gentleman from michigan, mr. rogers, the chairman of the house permanent select committee on intelligence. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan voiced for five minutes. mr. rogers: thank you, madam speaker. and i agree with the gentleman from new york and our political floss fiss may be different, i think it's a powerful and passionate speech. what frustrate mess the most is that we're even having this debate in this way, because the president has not led on this particular issue. he should have come before congress. i think that's clear. i don't think anyone really
objects to the fact that he should have come here when any time we put our troops in harm's way, absolutely. i think he's done not a great job about talking what our national security interests are in libya and what role we're playing in libya. bad marks all the way around. but the kucinich amendment, excuse me, resolution, is dangerous. i do believe we have national security interests at stake here. even though the president has gone about it in all the wrong way, there are national security interests and to stand up today and say we're frustrated with the president, we're going to stomp our feet and we're going to bring them home, leaving our allies holding the bag, is unconscionable. unconscionable. here's what happens if the kucinich amendment -- excuse me, resolution passes. the national block aid becomes at risk. -- blockade becomes at risk. our ability to refuel nato
aircraft who are doing strikes, not the united states who are doing strikes, mind you, our british and our italian and our french allies are doing combat strikes, goes away. the fact that we cannot get in and do particular efforts on making it very difficult for them to see with true radar and actually target planes happens by the united states. that goes away. who would do that to friends and allies in the middle east of a fight? and here's our national -- in the middle of a fight? and here's our national security interest. they have thousands and thousands of pounds of chemical weapons. this isn't a guess, we're not reading some analytical sheet, many you of you have seen it, i have seen it, we know it's there, it's declared. what happens to those chemical weapons in a place where al qaeda is growing stronger not weaker? there's only one country in the world that has the unique capable to keep an eye on it and take care of it when the opportunity arises, that's the united states of america. that is in our national
interest. there are thousands and thousands and thousands of shoulder-fired antiaircraft weapons that keep me awake at night. we have the unique capability in the united states to make sure that those weapons systems don't fall into the hands of those who would do us harm, the terrorists who proliferate in northern africa right now. those are in our national security interests. so, yes, let's have a debate, i think the speaker's approach is absolutely appropriate. it's sad that we that come to that point where we had to inform this administration, sir, you have not made your case, you need to come and make your case, and argue when he does that, when he makes his case, i think the american people will be with him. but he has to make the case and he needs congress' consult and advice on this particular issue and i argue he needs our approval to continue to move forward. i hope that we don't get really small in our politics and we're so angry at this president for
not making his case on something as sensitive as this that would we -- that we would ruin our national interests as we move forward. they are important allies, our french and our british. now, we've been frustrated at them and i'm sure they're frustrated at us, but they have helped, they have spilled their blood and their treasure in places like iraq and afghanistan and they currently help us fight terrorism where we find it in the world. do you poke your friend in the eye because you're mad? no. this is an important issue that has to be bigger than our political parochial beliefs, it has to be bigger than our congressional districts, this is about america, our future, our allies and, yes, our national security. who better to make sure that those shoulder-fired weapons don't go someplace than us? who better to make sure that those chemical weapons don't fall into the hands of terrorists who seek to kill innocent men, women and
children? gaddafi has been proven a state sponsor of terror. the pan am bombing, he killed hundreds. he killed u.s. soldiers in germany in the 1980's. our u.s. soldiers through an act of terrorism. we know he still has terrorism hit squads, we know it. can't prove that he's engaged them yet but we know they exist. why would we walk away from that threat when we know he's under siege and feeling desperate? this is the time we should stand with our allies, madam speaker. this is the time that we should say yes, our national security interests are at heart and yes, mr. president, come down and meet your constitutional obligation and show this congress why we're there, what role we're playing and what it means to our national security. i would urge a strong rejection of cutting and running in the kucinich amendment and a strong support of the speaker of the house's right approach to bring the president to congress as he needs to be and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired.
who seeks time? the gentleman from ohio. mr. kucinich: i want to yield two minutes to a gentleman who has been very closely involved in helping to construct bipartisan support for h.con.res. 51 and i thank him, mr. mcclintock of california. for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. mr. mcclintock: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i rise in strong support of his resolution. we need to be crystal clear on this, without prior congressional authorization, under the war powers act the president may only commit armed forces to hostilities for 60 days if there is a direct attack upon the united states, its territories or possessions or its armed forces. there was none. so there is no 60-day clock and the unprovoked attack on libya from day one constituted an illegal and unconstitutional act of the highest significance and the question is, what are we
going to do about that? if the president felt there was moral justification to attack libya, he was constitutionally required to make that case to the congress and to get its authorization. he did not. now, the argument we hear against this resolution comes down to this. we're already committed, it's too late for congress to order a withdrawal without harming america's reputation or undermining its allies. well, if we take that position we have just changed the entire constitution to read as follows, the president may attack any country he wants for any reason that he wants and the congress has no choice but to follow. that's what they're saying. the president has crossed a bright constitutional line and this congress has a clear moral and constitutional duty to intervene and only the kucinich
resolution actually does so short of sending a strong letter to the president. if we fail to do so, we'll destroy the work of the american founders by fundamentally changing the legislative and executive functions on the most momentous decision that our nation can make and we will take our country down dark and bloody roads that the american founders sought to avoid. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from ohio. mr. kucinich: i yield one minute to the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. lynch. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for one minute. mr. lynch: thank you, madam speaker, and i thank my friend for yielding and for his leadership on in issue. madam speaker, it's a sad irony that at the same time that we're committing our sons and daughters to an armed conflict in libya in support of democracy and the rule of law, that we're also trampling on the fundamental principles of separation of powers and the plain language of our united states constitution, the supreme
rule of law here at home. the united states constitution clearly states that the president's power as commander in chief to introduce our armed forces into hostilities may be exercised only pursuant to three circumstances. number one, a declaration of war, number two, a specific statutory authorization. number three, a national emergency created by an attack on the united states. that has not happened. so despite my great respect and affection for our president, a lawful premise for this libyan operation does not exist. in closing i just want to say that i've been to iraq 13 times and afghanistan 10 times. i don't meet any of our kids on their first tour of duty anymore. they're all on their third tour of duty or fourth tour of duty. we are stretched thin. and this was a gratuitous action. we should not be there, there's no lawful basis for this prosecution of this war so i ask for the support of this resolution. thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio. mr. kucinich: i recognize the gentleman from illinois, mr. johnson, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman from illinois is recognized for two minutes. mr. johnson: thank you. this issue of war and peace and separation of powers transcends poll -- partisan politics. two years ago i began what's known as the center aisle caucus which has large membership now. our goal is bipartisan solutions to america's challenges and this bill reflects that approach. h.c.r. 51 on paper addresses our illegal war in libya. but in spirit it calls into question american presence in the middle east and it should command the attention of the national media, if you're listening, and every american citizen. today i issue a challenge to an often divided congress. to my democratic colleagues, i ask you to candidly acknowledge that war is war, even when a democratic president initiates or perpetuates that war. to my republican colleagues, ask to you acknowledge that a sincere and effective attack on our crippling national debt
while laying out defense spending on the table is disingeneral woice -- to all my colleagues, i ask you to know that our global warfare kills men and women and innocent people all around the world every day. two, we cannot impose our standards of democracy, humanitarianism and culture, as much as we want to, on nations that don't care and resent our self-proclaimed role as judge and jury. three, there is little if any connection between our inaction libya and the safety of citizens in st. louis, missouri, or mount zion, illinois. we spend almost $700 billion a year on defense, a significant portion of that for three wars now. three days ago we voted on an issue of whether to increase our national debt limit to nearly $17 trillion. from president bush to obama and well before, presidents have flagrantly and arrogantly violated article 1, section 8 of the constitution, not to mention the war powers act.
. the speaker's resolution that we'll vote on here in a few minutes was strongly worded and i believe sincerely offered. but it was just that, words. it was not and should not be a cover for any member of this chamber to failure to support the kucinich bill. which puts teeth, real teeth into congressional prerogatives. support the constitution. support common sense. support fiscal responsibility. and support peace. support the kucinich resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio. mr. kucinich: i yield two minutes to mr. nadler of new york. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for two minutes. mr. nadler: thank you. thank you. i thank the gentleman for yielding. the gentleman from virginia earlier said that the kucinich resolution would tie the president's hands. yes, it would. the whole point of the constitution is to tie the president's hands. the president not this
particular president, any president, must not have the power to commit this country to war on its own authority without the concurrence of congress. that is the point of the constitution. george washington said the constitution vested the power of declaring war in congress. therefore no expedition can be undertaken until they shall have deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure. abraham lincoln said they resolved to so frame the constitution that no one man should hold the power of bringing this oppression upon us. that's what this really does. eefer the last 60 years since -- over the last 60 years since world war ii, power is slow to the president. time, when bombers were over the pole, you couldn't call congress into session. congress surrendered much power to the presidency. korea was an undeclared war, vietnam, congress was fooled. they called the gulf of tonguin
resolution -- tongin -- tonkin resolution. the issue before us is not consultation with congress. it's not a lack of information to congress. it's the fact that congress must act. and that is why the boehner resolution is beside the point. now, in past there is a good reason, there is time, there is emergencies. but here secretary gates said that if no threat to the vital -- national security of the united states. we have time to negotiate with the arab league. we had time to go to the u.n. there was time to go to congress and ask for authorization for use of military war. the president gave us his reasons for going into libya. not everyone agrees with those, but the question is not -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. nadler: it's enforcing the constitution. if we pass the kucinich resolution, the president would have 15 days to come before us and ask us to authorize the use of force if that is necessary.
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio. mr. kucinich: i recognize mr. poe of texas for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. mr. poe: madam speaker, the united states is engaged in a war in the name of humanity. the president's actions did not follow the constitution. they could not follow the war powers resolution. -- they do not follow the war powers resolution. it is unconstitutional action on the part of the united states. i served on the bench in texas for over 20 years trying criminal cases and our daily business we followed the law. and the law required that you have a trial if conconvicted, the person was sentenced. . i never tried a case that a person was so bad we just skipped the trial and went ahead and sentenced him and had the trial later to prove it was a good idea. we followed the law. and the same law that required a procedure in a trial that's in
the u.s. constitution, the constitution also says there is a procedure for going to war. and the procedure is that congress, not the president, instigates war. james madison, the person who wrote the constitution, said, the constitution supposes what history demonstrates, that the executive is the branch of power most interested in war. and most prone to it. therefore with studied care we have vested the question of war with the legislature. that would be us. congress. we have not fulfilled our obligation. the war in libya violates the constitution. the war powers act. it is not in the national security of the united states. it is said, well, the french made -- we may disrespect the french. i say to the french, you respect our constitution and our
constitution says that the declaration and going to war is the responsibility of congress not any executive. it has been said that the constitution may be inconvenient, but it is meant to be, madam speaker. war is a serious matter. and presidents and congresses should be an inconvenience on the war, the road to war. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio. mr. kucinich: i yield a minute to the gentlelady from california, ms. woolsey. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, the first air strikes against libya were launched in march. now it's june. 76 days after this mission began, congress still hasn't been given an opportunity to vote for or against a declaration of war. every member of this body regardless of individual feelings should demand, demand that their constitutional authority be respected.
the engagement in libya is lingering without accountability or checks on presidential power. without a vigorous debate about the consequences of our actions, what is the end game? what is the timetable? what are the metrics or benchmarks of success? with the united states already fighting in two theaters with the human and financial costs of iraq and afghanistan mounting every day, $10 billion a month alone in afghanistan, our military is stretched to its breaking point. we simply cannot take on a third war. 15 seconds will to. thank you. last week by overwhelming majority of 416-5, this body voted to say no to boots on the ground in libya. today we must go one step
further. we must support h.con.res. 51 and end the car in libya all together. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio. mr. kucinich: yield two minutes to mr. jones. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for two minutes. mr. jones: madam speaker, i thank the gentleman from ohio for introducing this resolution. it's just so ironic that on may 26, cnn poll found that a majority of american people, 55%, believe congress not the president should have final authority for deciding whether the united states should continue its military mission in libya. yes, american people, you are exactly right. and that is why we need to support mr. kucinich's resolution. it's been amazing to me that i
have heard so much debate today about nato's feelings, nato's feelings, how about the feelings of the american people? how about the people that pay the taxes in this country? how about their feelings? isn't it time that their feelings come first? that's why i sincerely believe and i want to be on the floor today because i thank mr. boehner, the speaker of the house, for presenting the resolution, but that does not do it. that does not do it. the constitution says that mr. kucinich is right with this resolution. the american people say that he is right with this resolution. the american people are calling on the congress to meet their constitutional duties and to vote for this resolution. madam speaker, before i close, i want to say again to mr. kucinich, thank you for taking the lead on this. this should actually be the only resolution we are voting on, but let's show the american people we believe in the constitution and let's support mr. kucinich's
resolution. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: could we get the amount of time remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california has 11 minutes remaining. the gentleman from ohio has 13 1/4 minutes. the gentlelady from florida has a minute and a half remaining. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: thank you, madam chairman. i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. moran. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for three minutes. mr. moran: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, this resolution is not as much about libya as it is about us. wouldn't it be wonderful if we could control events around the world, determine the future, and
always accurately predict the consequences of our actions? that's not what life is all about. the best we can do is to establish the values and the principles that define us individually as citizens and collectively as a nation. this resolution is not about whether we should be involved. we are always going to be involved because we are the world's economic, military, and moral superpower. and to choose not to act, particularly in time of such a crisis and transformation that is occurring throughout the arab world, is in fact to choose. and in this case it would be to
choose to define us as a people. who have decided to let the -- look the other way. to choose not to hear the cries of the desperate help of the libyan people who have chosen to put their lives on the line. in the cause of democracy, of individual liberty, and freedom from oppression. these are the values that define us as a people and as a nation. and they are the values, frankly, that must give hope to a world of oppression and despotism that will in fact continue to exist and in fact will gain strength if we do not stand up, speak out, and also be
there with them in such a time as this. that's why we should defeat the kucinich amendment because it's really about who we are as a people. and whether we still have the courage and the consequence tancy to defend -- constanty to defined the high ground. when the rest of the world has to look up, not down and not sideways, as this resolution would place us, but up. we will in fact be advancing our own security and prosperity and the integrity of our nation. because we live in a world who really wants to only shine as brightly as -- another 15 seconds. mr. berman: additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an additional minute.
mr. moran: thank you. we must always bear in mind that we live in a world that wants more than anything to shine as brightly as the beacon of freedom and hope that we represent. and we should always bear in mind that we have the privilege of representing and burnishing ever brighter and we do that every time that in a time of crisis when there is cost and potential consequence, when we show the courage and constantcy that defines us once again we are called upon to be equal to our history. this may not seem like a
terribly critical vote in the scheme of things, but to every one of those libyans who have chosen to put their lives on the line for the values that are defined by who america is, it is a big deal. it is fering. it is their lives. it is their hope. it is their future. that's why this resolution should be defeated. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. moran: an we should continue to be proud of who we are and who our nation must be. thank you, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio. . mr. kucinich: i yield to the gentleman from utah, mr. chaffetz. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. chaffetz: thank you. this is a defining moment for us as a people, this is a defining moment for us as a body, this is a defining moment for the united states constitution. with the civil war in north africa, there is no clear and present danger to the united states of america.
therefore in acts of war the president has a constitutional duty and obligation to come to the congress to seek approval. for the president to suggest that he got approval from the united nations is offensive and it's wrong. no, mr. president, authorization to go to war comes from the american people and it comes from the united states congress. we must stand tall and true to the constitution. we have no choice but to vote on this action. this is a defining moment. what is absent in all this discussion, i point out to my colleagues, i see no resolution to go to war, i don't see a resolution that says, this is what we should be doing. please vote in favor of this amendment. stand true and tall for the constitution. this is a defining moment. i appreciate mr. kucinich for bringing forth this amendment and urge my colleagues to vote in favor of it. the speaker pro tempore: i would remind members to address their comments to the chair.
the gentleman from ohio. mr. kucinich: i yield a minute to the gentleman from texas, mr. paul. the chair: the gentleman from -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. paul: i thank the gentleman for yielding and rise in strong support for h.con.res. 51. we need to pass this resolution to send this very strong message . we have been told by those who oppose this message that we should not have an abrupt withdrawal from the region. but i would strongly suggest that what we should be talking about is the abrupt and illegal entry into war. that's what we have to stop. since we went in abruptly and illegally we need to abruptly leave. it has also been said by those who oppose this resolution that they concede that the congress should assume their prerogatives over the war powers but do it gradually. i would strongly suggest that when we took our oath of office we assumed that radically and
suddenly, we took an oath of office to obey the constitution, not defer to the united nations and that we already have assumed that responsibility and i would also suggest if we do nothing, if we do not pass this resolution, it is the sin of omission that we commit. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio. mr. kucinich: i yield main to the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona is recognized for one minute. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i rise today in support of the kucinich resolution. i'd hoped to be able to support the boehner resolution, i share the speaker's concern that a withdrawal called for by the kucinich resolution sends a less than optimal signal to our nato allies. while we're on the subject of signals, i am far more concerned about the puzzling, confusing, mystifying signal we send by passing a resolution that affirms that the president has not fulfilled his constitutional
or statutory obligations yet offer noes remedy, only a mild rebuke followed by a questionnaire. madam speaker, i was here in 2001 when we authorized the use ofs for to enter afghanistan. there was just one de-- dissenting vote. when a threat to our national security is perceived, it's been the long standing practice of congress to support the administration in its actions. the greater threat today in my view is a perpetual acquiescence of this body in situations such as we face today in libya. where we tolerate the use of military force when the threat to our national security is less obvious. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from ohio. mr. kucinich: i recognize mr. frank for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for two minutes. mr. frank: madam speaker, i think the president erred in not following the war powers act in the spirit of the constitution. he should have asked us. if he had i would have said no then and i say no now.
let me disagree with those of my colleagues who have talked about what a terrible man gaddafi is as a reason for the united states to be spending our money there. yes, he's a thaugthug who ought to be removed but it cannot be that america has to be the 911 for the world and that we are the ones who have to respond everywhere, every time. i heard one of my colleagues on the other side say, well, the europeans are there, but let's not poke them in the eye. poke them in the eye? we have for years, since the beginning of nato, been subsidizing them so they have military budgets less than half of ours as a percentage of their g.d.p. so, they can do better than us in health care and competitiveness and every other way. yes, he should be opposed. there are european nations, developed wealthy nations just across the mediterranean. why do they have to have america come nearly 4,000 miles to do it? and it's not just libya. this is defining. are we going to go forward with a situation in which america
undertakes to defend everybody in the world everywhere even when they are not greatly threatened as is the case with nato or with missile defenses against nonexistent missile threats from iran, or do we say that we will bear our fair share but not more? we have got to stop subsidizing the rest of the world. particularly now. and when members from the appropriations committee come up and tell us, you got to go and do this, but let's cut police in massachusetts, let's cut housing in ohio, let's cut transportation in california, we cannot reduce our deficit in a way that allows us to maintain any concern for the quality of life here if we continue to spend money promiscuously over there. let's go beyond that. we're not just talking about libya. what about the paradox in afghanistan where we will spend $100 billion a year and be told by the president of afghanistan that he doesn't like what we're doing. fine, let him have if, let him -- let's not stop forcing him to
take our $100 billion a year. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio. mr. kucinich: could i inquire how much time is left on each side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio has 9 1/4 minutes. the gentleman from california has seven minutes and the gentlelady from florida has 1 1/2 minutes. remaining. mr. kucinich: i yield mr. southerland one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for one minute. mr. southerland: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. southerland: i'd like to thank the gentleman for yielding me a minute this morning. today i think we owe the american people an apology because we all as a house are here to defend and protect the constitution of the united states and it has been way too long before this debate has been had on this floor. there's much more at risk today than libya. what is at risk today is the very constitution that we have sworn to protect and to uphold.
if the constitution is at risk, then this house is at risk. when this house is blatantly ignored by another branch, by the president of the united states, then the people are blatantly ignored by the president of the united states and this house will fall. i applaud those that have sponsored this bill and i rise in support of it today. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from ohio. or the gentleman from california. mr. kucinich: i yield one minute to the gentleman from california , mr. stark. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. stark: madam speaker, i thank the gentleman for yielding and support h.con.res. 51, a bipartisan resolution directing the president to remove the united states armed forces from libya within 15 days. i'm proud to support this resolution by representatives
kucinich, burton, thank gives congress and therefore the american people the power to decide whether america enters into or continues a war which destroys our economy, which destroys unnecessarily human lives who do not oppose us and are not a threat. for us to be wantonly and killing people around the globe, entering into a war, there's no other question about that, without permission of the american people through this body is unconstitutional, it's wrong and we should support the kucinich amendment. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: thank you, madam speaker. i am pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from nebraska, mr. fortenberry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for to minutes -- three minutes. the gentleman from nebraska. mr. fortenberry: thank you,
madam speaker. i thank the gentleman from california, our ranking member on the foreign affairs, for the time. madam speaker, this is a very tough call. a tough set of circumstances. there is much complexity here with the convergence of war and diplomacy and geopolitics and allied relations. what is clear, however, is that the president has not communicated effectively with the united states congress, nor has he sought this body's authorization for the undertaking in libya. let's have a brief history lesson here, though. some in this body called for unilateral action against libya just three months ago. that was appropriately resisted by this administration until other nations, particularly the british and the french, were willing to put up their own assets and give structure to a nato coalition. however, now u.s. actions in an important allied effort to save libyan civilians from eminent slaughter have clearly moved
beyond the scope of humanitarian relief and stabilization efforts. with that said an abrupt and an imminent cutoff of u.s. participation in libya causes numerous complications and would be highly disruptive. yet we should not creep, we must not creep toward opening up a third front in libya which is the root cause of this debate. the general framework for intervention without expressed congressional authorization has precedent and some parallels within the last 30 years. let's look at lebanon in 1982, panama in 1989, bosnia in 1995 and kosovo in 1999. all of these interventions had various levels of controversy, particularly the one in lebanon, but they were undertaken by presidents of the united states. the boehner resolution considered before this one gives the president a small window of time to better make his case.
if the president cannot, congress can assert its authority and disapprove, raising principled questions about war powers is a laudable goal and i do want to commend the gentleman from ohio, mr. kucinich, for his leadership in this important debate. it would not have happened without you. however, i think we should move forward very carefully. speaker boehner's resolution pushes the president for answers but stops short of requesting congressional authorization or abrupt withdrawal of u.s. participation in the libya mission. if this approach is unfaithful we can then -- unfruitful, we can then exercise further options. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from ohio. mr. kucinich: i yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. capuano, who has been a driving force behind this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. capuano: thank you, madam speaker, and i thank the gentleman for yielding. i'm proud to be one of the original co-sponsors of this
resolution. but i want to take -- i take no pleasure in this. i'm an early and ardent supporter of the president on most everything. this has nothing to do in my mind with the president or truthfully even with the action in libya. for me this is about the constitution. plain and simple. the constitution's clear, it's not even about the war powers act, i personally think the war powers act is probably unconstitutional. the constitution is clear on many things -- clear. on many things it is not. it is unequivocally clear on the declaration of war is the responsibility of congress. period. no gray area there. now, i know you can try to fudge it on what the definition of war is but when someone is shooting at someone else, that's war. if it's one person, 10 people or 10 million, that's war. for me that's what this is about. now, don't get me wrong. i would hesitate strongly, i doubt that i would support the action in libya, but that's not
why i co-sponsored this and i've had some people say, well, 15 days is unreasonable. well, ok, then if this passes they have 15 days to come back to us and ask us for more time. which i would be inclined to do. if that's necessary in a military basis. what this simply says is that congress has to stand up on our own two feet and take the actions that we took an oath to take which to uphold the constitution. now, i understand the people may see things differently and i respect people's opinions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. kucinich: i yield the gentleman another half minute. mr. capuano: i respect people that would differ. but i cannot believe that anyone can honestly read the constitution on this matter in an unclear way. congress has the authority to declare war, period. that's why i'm here today. i'm not here to debate today whether we were right or wrong to be in libya.