tv Today in Washington CSPAN June 25, 2011 2:00am-6:00am EDT
ask for authorization. and i for one would want to grant limited conditional authorization. . we just rejected a limited authorization. all authority and no limbation. that's how it would be interpreted by the white house legal counsel given how it was drafted. the house should consider real binding limits and conditions. because democracy and rule of law for the people of libya is important, but democracy and rule of law for the people of the united states is more important. there are those who regret they cannot offer an amendment to this bill. yes, they can. the motion to recommit will be in order just as soon as we end debate. i know that we have had important resolutions from the arab league, the u.n., and nato. those are not substitutes for congress. the war powers act is the law of
the land and if we don't stand up for it now, when will we? and if this president won't obey it, which president will? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to the gentlewoman from georgia, member of the foreign affairs committee and also a member of the nato parliamentary assembly, mr. scott. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one minute. mr. scott: thank you very much. thank you very much, mr. smith. what we have here is two essential arguments. one is more of an intramural argument between congress and the white house. but it is a misplaced argument because there is no president that's come to this congress for a declaration of war since world war ii. and granted we have been in seven or eight major conflicts. so this is much greater than this conflict between the white house and this congress. unfortunately i believe that this measure is just an attempt to rather in a strong way get
the attention of the president. maybe to chastise the president a bit. so surely. but i think if you look at the record there were communications here, but there is a larger profound message here. it's not a message that this is to send to the president. this is a bad time piece of legislation because it sends the wrong message to the world. ladies and gentlemen of the congress, we are the leaders of the free world. america is a great country and our standing is at stake and this move, this bill will pull the rug out from under nato at precisely the time when we need to be sending a strong message of encouragement. the united states is in a support role here. so it is very important that we defeat this amendment and make sure that we send the right message to our allies that we
will not pull the rug out from under them. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from florida. mr. rooney: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to my friend from massachusetts, mr. frank. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for one minute. mr. frank: mr. speaker, i want to send a message to our allies, and i don't think we are pulling the rug out from under them. look at these wealthy populous nations of western europe. i believe it's a good thing to get rid of gaddafi. does america have to do everything? people say we are the indispensable nation. that's a terrible burden to impose on ourself. we cannot afford it and it cannot be done effectively. let's get people who can dispense with it. my friend, the ranking member of the appropriations committee said, we have to do this because nato can bomb but they can't suppress. what a great bunch of allies, they can bomb on armed people but if they shoot back they got to come running to as you. yes, i want to send a message to nato. gaddafi's a bad guy. if england and france and italy and germany and spain and the
netherlands and scandinavia can't together muster the military force for this weakened poor nation, then let's re-examine the value of this ally. there was in the "king and i" when he says, if the allies are weak might not -- it's time for them to step up. this is not to protect gaddafi. it's to say that america can no longer be asked to be the one that does everything, everywhere, every time our allies have to step up. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i now yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. paul. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. mr. paul: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i really speak on the house floor -- rarely speak on the house floor and almost never have i come to the floor two times in one day to speak on one issue. but this is my fourth trip to the floor today on this issue because i consider it so important and so serious.
if i could rename this bill i would call it a bill to authorize the use of force in libya. that is what we are doing. we should not kid ourselves. we are authorizing the use of force. we are endorsing the obama war in libya. some see this as weakening our presence over there. but there is no doubt if you read it carefully we are expanding and giving authority because of the exceptions. the exceptions include search and research, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, refueling, planning, contract labor can still go in, the c.i.a. is in there already, special forces. and paying for it. how can you do that without paying for it? we are there, this will be the first time the president will have received any information from the congress that it's ok to pursue what we are doing. we are supposed to be sending the message that we are in charge of when we go to war an when we pay for this war.
we are not supposed to lie over and capitulate to what the president wants as we have been for too many years. so there is no doubt that i think the proper vote here, the proper constitutional vote, the proper vote for the best of our national interest, the best vote for peace is to vote this resolution down just as we voted the previous resolution down. we should prohibit the use of funds. a lot of us complain on this house floor because of the way the president went to war. he didn't come here, he went to nato. but this supports nato. one of the arguments in favor of this bill is we have the exceptions so we don't want to break ties in our aleaningance to nato -- allegiance to nato. that's what we are supposed to be doing. we are supposed to be claiming the sovereignty and responsibilities in the house. we are not supposed to roll over for nato and us united nations. we are supposed to stand up for this country. we are not supposed to go into war under these conditions and under those circumstances. i strongly urge a no vote on this resolution.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from florida. mr. rooney: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to my friend from indiana, mr. burton. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana is recognized for two minutes. mr. burton: somebody said a while ago we ought to be supporting the arab spring because there is movements towards democracy over there. we went into libya to help in a humanitarian effort and get rid of muammar gaddafi. who are we supporting? nobody at the white house has come down here and said we are supporting this group of people. we don't know if it's the muslim brotherhood. we don't know if it's al qaeda. we do know there are al qaeda operatives that came from afghanistan fighting with the rebels in libya. are we supporting al qaeda? are we supporting the muslim brotherhood? the muslim brotherhood in egypt has opened up the border, the government of egypt, whatever that is right now, has opened up the border between egypt and gaza. which provides a mechanism for weapons to get into gaza to fire
on israel. so before we start supporting a rebel movement and going after somebody like gaddafi, we ought to find out who we are for. we are spending billions of dollars before this is over in a war where we don't even know who we are supporting, and it's in violation of the war powers act in the constitution. this is something we should not be doing. the president should have come down here and made his case. he should have said what our goals are. he should have said who we are supporting and why are we supporting them? we are in a war against terrorism and we may very well end up with terrorists controlling libya and egypt. and that is a tinderbox we don't want. we get about 35% of our energy from that part of the world and if all hell breaks loose because we have gone with the wrong guys, we've got a real problem in this country economically. and the president ought to be thinking about all that and making his case to the congress in accordance with the constitution and the war powers
act before he does it. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. mcclintock: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, this bill purports to cut off funding for combat in libya. in doing so it simply forbids what the constitution already forbids, the waging of war without explicit congressional authorization. but then it specifically grants to the president what up until now he has completely lacked. congressional authority to engage in every conceivable belligerent act short of actually pulling the trigger. refueling bombers on their way to targets. identifying and selecting targets. guiding munitions to their targets. logistical support. operational planning. these are all acts of war in direct support of belligerence at war and this bill authorizes them.
the house has just considered whether to authorize war with libya. it has specifically, categorically, and decisively rejected it. the president's now on notice that he is in direct defiance of congress. that is the message we need to send today. let's not enter a war through the backdoor when we have already decided not to interer it through the front. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from florida. mr. rooney: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to my friend from texas, judge gohmert. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. mr. gohmert: thank you, mr. speaker. it is true gaddafi's a bad guy. he needs to go. but the problem is for those who say will this mean the end of the bush doctrine? i don't know this president's been enforcing the bush doctrine, but the problem is as my friend, mr. burton, pointed out, we don't know who is going to replace gaddafi. it's not in our national interest to help what may be
another iran with khomeini and ahmadinejad come to power. and especially when we are releasing oil at a time when that oil should be saved in case it all goes to blazes in the middle east and we don't have any coming from there. now, i'm not crazy about the exceptions, either. the search and rescue, intelligence surveillance, and reconnaissance, aerial refueling, operational planning because this administration is probably going to describe everything they do as falling into those exceptions, but it's a step in the right direction. and some have said, and i know their hearts and i know they mean well, we want to support our troops and i don't like it when people say let's back out and cut funding when troops are in harm's way. i have talked to enough troops who want somebody in washington to say, this is insane. don't get us involved. because they are good soldiers and when they get their orders,
they are going to salute and go follow through on the orders. we are the body that must step forward and say, enough. mr. president, we are not responsible to the arab league, to nato, or to the u.n. we are responsible to the american people. so though i don't like the exceptions i will vote for this. it's taking a step in the right direction. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to the gentlelady from michigan, mrs. miller. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from michigan is recognized for one minute. mrs. miller: mr. speaker, i intend to vote no on this resolution. we just voted on a resolution on whether or not to authorize in libya and this house overwhelmingly voted no. no to authorizing that. i have been opposed to this action in libya. i have not been persuaded the u.s. has a vital interest there. by the way we were not attacked by gaddafi. i spent two hours in a tent with gaddafi in 2003, we were the first congressional delegation, over 38 years, to be there. in fact we were there because he was voluntarily giving up his nuclear arms.
i will say there are probably few dictators who are going to do that again after watching what's happening over there. he is a bloody dictator. one of the things i learned, he hates al qaeda. i also think this action vividly demonstrates the weakness of nato, quite frankly. it's a great organization. we appreciate their partnerships, of course. they are our allies, but it's an antiquated organization. the united states is paying 75% of the cost of nato and nato can't even take out a two-bit dictator like gaddafi? why. because we have enabled our allies, providing their defense for them, for decades. and instead of spending money on their defense as they said 2% of their g.d.p. they are spending the money on social programs, their money on lower corporate tax rates, etc. i would say yes, gaddafi is a bloody dictator. he's a terrorist. he did not attack us. let us remember who left the lockerbie bomber out early as well. we need to get out of libya. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from florida.
mr. rooney: i yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from ohio, the speaker of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio, the speaker, is recognized. the speaker: let me thank my colleague for yielding. let me say that i'm disappointed that we have reached this point here today. mr. speaker, it didn't have to come to this. nearly 100 days ago the president initiated a strike against libya. went out in consultation from -- without consultation from the congress and without prior explanation to the american people. then as now we all supported the removal of the regime of libya, a regime that was slaughtering and is slaughtering its own people. yet rather than seek regime change from the start, the president chose to follow not lead. and pursued a strictly humanitarian mission under the banner of the united nations with no plan for colonel gaddafi's removal. so at the outset we asked some very straightforward questions of the president. why is it removing can caffey a
part of this mission? what if he doesn't leave? . who are the rebels that we're there helping to fight? how long is this going to last and at what cost and what does success look like? these were questions that the administration would not or could not answer. under our constitution the commander in chief has authority to take actions necessary to protect our national security. this is an authority of which i in this house respect. but it does not free the president from accountability to the american people, to this congress or to the rule of law. now, whatever your opinion of the war powers resolution may be, the fact is it is the law of the land and simply cannot be ignored. so three weeks ago this house overwhelmingly passed a
bipartisan resolution asking the president to explain how this mission is consistent with our national security goals, to justify continuing this operation without authorization. he responded by telling us he didn't need congress because there are no, quote, hostilities taking place in libya. well, we soon found out that even his own lawyers don't buy that argument. now, if the commander in chief is going to take our forces into war, he must take ownership of it. if a president believes that missile strikes and drone operations taking place in libya are critical, it's his responsibility to explain to the american people and to seek authorization from this congress. because the president has failed to do that, because he's failed to fulfill his obligations, we are here today. now, make no mistake. i support the removal of the
libyan regime. i support the president's authority as commander in chief, but when the president chooses to challenge the powers of the congress i, as speaker of the house, will defend the constitutional authority of the legislature. this bill represents, i believe, a reasonable approach. by allowing our forces to continue playing a limited support role, it would not undermine our nato partners. it would, however, prevent the president from carrying out any further hostilities without congress' approval, and it would exercise congress' constitutional power to provide some much-needed accountability. i believe this is a responsible approach, and i believe this house should support it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i now yield three minutes to the gentleman from california, the ranking member of the house foreign affairs committee, mr.
berman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for three minutes. mr. berman: thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker of the house has made some very legitimate points, but then his conclusion is so contrary to the points he made. the proposition before us today, mr. mcclintock is right. it is an authorization of a series of acts of belligerence, acts of war that by their own definition cannot possibly help us either achieve the humanitarian goal of this mission or achieve the goal of the true humanitarian goal of removing gaddafi from power. we are authorizing intelligent-sharing, aerial refueling, operational planning, intelligence gathering, but we are denying the only aspects of this
operation that can allow us to achieve that goal, the suppression of air defense systems and the utilization of drones with missiles to stop gaddafi from resuming his effort to massacre his own people. i understand the argument, you don't buy my notions of our national security interests, you don't see the context of bringing this -- operation to a halt in terms of what it does to the stability of the democracy movements in egypt, in tunisia. you don't see any consequences in terms of syria, the larger middle east, or the damage to the alliance. i understand and accept that argument, but mr. rooney doesn't -- he tries to have it both ways, but he comes up with a proposal that ensures that the mission is allowed to continue but by definition cannot achieve its goals. it is the worst, it is not the reasonable proposal, it is the
worst of all solutions. if you're going to authorize an operation that hopes through airpower and other methods, you don't exclude the only parts of that that could possibly achieve this success. if you're against the operation you stop the funding of the operation. mr. rooney and apparently a number of other members of the majority want to have it both ways. we don't like gaddafi so we want to do something, but we don't want to do anything that could work but we don't want to come against the operation. but the fact is you're ending the operation if this were to become law because our european friends have said very clearly that those parts of this operation that this amendment prohibits, those parts of the operation we cannot undertake if you are not doing it. so why not be straightforward? why not do what a number of colleagues on the other side
have called for, stop funding the operation, don't try to have it both ways, ensure the operation defeat and end the operation while still being interested in seeing gaddafi go and the operation succeed? i urge a no vote from anyone who cares about consequences of what they vote on. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from florida. mr. rooney: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to my friend and colleague, the chairman of the committee on armed services, the gentleman from california, mr. mckeon. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for three minutes. mr. mckeon: thank you, mr. speaker, and i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 2278. my colleague has set forth the responsible plan that would effectively limit the united states' role in libya. this bill would allow u.s. forces to continue to conduct search and rescue missions, aerial refueling, intelligent,
surveillance and reconnaissance and provide operational planning assistance. mr. speaker, this is what nato has told us would allow them to continue to carry out the mission. these are very critical functions. that is all that they have asked us to do as we move forward, and it helps the president be truthful in saying that we're not engaged in hostile actions. this bill would clearly end funding for all other military missions in libya. of particular concern to many members is the united states' continued engagement in strike and suppression of enemy air defense missions. the president has repeatedly stated that the u.s. is not engaged in hostilities, and the congressional authorization is not necessary to continue our role in this operation. i share with many of my colleagues the view that firing missile at a target in a foreign nation does indeed
constitute hostile action. this disagreement is at the root of the issue at hand. h.r. 2278 would put an end to that debate by explicitly defining the connelly authorized scope of the u.s. military mission in libya. the administration has yet to present congress and the american people with a clear strategic objective for our involvement in libya. furthermore, to date we have not been informed of a specific end goal under which the military operations would cease. this threatens the effectiveness of our mission and could soon create an unjustifiable strain on our military. while they remain engaged in two other theaters of operation critical to our national security interest. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to join me in support of this bill, and how much time do i have left? the speaker pro tempore: one minute remains. mr. mckeon: how much do i have left? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has one minute
remaining. mr. mckeon: i'd be happy to yield. mr. dicks: wouldn't you feel better if we could add as the fifth item in this list of things suppression of enemy air defenses? the reason i say that is i think we're going to have a difficult time doing any of these other missions unless we have suppression, and the -- i was just over there and we were told by the navy that the allies do not have enough suppression to deal with continuing to do these bombing missions without u.s. help. if we could clarify -- mr. mckeon: you just about used up my whole minute. there are -- my good friend from washington, there are a lot of things that would make me feel better. if we could go back and start this whole thing over, there are a lot of things that would make me feel better, but the president has said we are not
engaged in hostilities. i think we would agree that when we're firing missiles, when we are having -- 30 seconds? missions with our fighter planes suppressing ground fire, i believe that would be -- most of us would agree that is hostile. and the nato people, we met with the military from great britain, they told us what we have in here would allow them to continue successfully their missions. so i would -- the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman from california has expired. the gentleman from -- mr. mckeon: i ask my colleagues to support this bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: may i inquire of the sponsor, mr. rooney, i am the last speaker. then i will yield myself the
balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. smith: thank you. there are a number of arguments about this issue, arguments in favor of ending the mission in libya. and i think the speaker articulated one which is basically we support the idea of the removal of gaddafi and they support the idea of supporting the people in libya who are asking for a representative government. they just don't like our present process. but that argument really doesn't make sense because if in fact their big complaint is that congress hasn't had the opportunity to authorize this, then the speaker of the house has had by his own admission 100 days to offer that voice, to come up and say, no, we support the mission but here's how we want to limit it and they have not done that. and i agree very strongly with mr. berman's statement, you can't have it both ways. you can't say we would like to remove gaddafi, we'd like to support the libyan people but
we are going to offer up resolutions that's going to stop that from happening. now, we can argue back and forth about that process, but clearly the speaker of the house had an option in front of him to deal with that process issue. and this isn't it. as has been pointed out, this will stop what we are doing in libya. if you support that -- let me just say, i support mr. kucinich in the sense that he's very honest. he don't like what's going on there. he would like it stopped. that's a legitimate position. to stand up and say, yes, we have to support the libyan people, yes, gaddafi should go, we are just going to cut the legs out from underneath the efforts to do that because of a complicated process argument is not a legitimate point. i want to point out, people are legitimately concerned of the u.s. being too militant in our approach. i agree that. we cannot be the policemen for the war. we should not always carry the load. but in this case it is a very, very limited mission that we have. for once, nato is actually
carrying the balk of the missions. while i agree with one statement that nato should step up and do more, nato is now stepping up and doing more and we want to pull the rug out from the tiny piece we are giving to help to make this mission possible. this is a limited role and we must recognize that. the speaker also emphasized we would like to have all the answers going in. we want to know what the mission with gaddafi is. initially our mission was clear, stop gaddafi from crushing the forces who were trying to rise up and have a voice in their own government and we did that. incidentally we do have some answers about who these rebels are. you want to know who they are? look at benghazi. the place that's controlled by the people in opposition to muammar gaddafi. it's not the muslim brotherhood, it's not al qaeda. it's the people of libya who wants a representative government who is running that place. so let's stop acting like we don't know who these people
are. we do have a very good idea who they are and they are deserving of our support. we have a clear limited mission. if we vote for rooney we pull the rug out from under that mission. we put gaddafi in a position to stay in power, and we undermine a group of people who are asking for a legitimate voice in their government. and keep in mind, again, this is a very limited use of u.s. power and in a very positive way. whatever the process arguments are that brought us to that point, don't let them have an united states look like we don't support people, standing up for the very values that we tunally espouse throughout the world. i urge defeat of this resolution and support what we're doing in libya and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. rooney: mr. speaker, can i inquire of the time remaining on our side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida has four minutes remaining. mr. rooney: mr. speaker, i'd like to yield one minute to my
friend and colleague from nebraska, mr. terry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from nebraska, mr. terry, is recognized for one minute. mr. terry: thank you, mr. speaker. and i have during my tenure here voted twice to empower our military to take action. the first time was with afghanistan, and the president came to the congress and made a powerful case that it was in our national security interest to do so, and i supported that. . then with iraq, the president came to congress, spent a significant amount of time providing evidence, making a case that there was a national security interest. this time however, it was a surprise to me and most of my colleagues that this mission was occurring. there's been no attempt to define what the national security interests are, the united states interest in this military action. and so without that, i can't look my constituents in the eye and tell them why we are in libya right now.
and active in military strikes against that nation state. so, the one constitutional power that congress has explicitly is the pursestrings. we are exercising that right. i support that effort to hold -- pull those strings tight and let's stop the flow of money into this action. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. rooney: mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield one minute to the gentleman from ohio, mr. kucinich. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio, mr. kucinich, is recognized for one minute. mr. kucinich: i want to thank mr. rooney and thank my colleagues. i think this has been a very important debate for this country and for our constitution. i'm opposed to this war and want to end it. i think mr. rooney's bill is a powerful stp in the direction of ending the -- step in the direction of ending the war, but it's not the only step we should take. it's the purse step. the first step is a vote for mr. rooney's. you limit the war, stop the
combat ops. then the second step would be to vote on a defense appropriations amendment that would strike all funding for the war. so we take two steps here. the first step today. and we have some of the best people in this congress have been in this debate today and they don't agree with mr. rooney's bill, but what they have said is that this bill would end the mission in libya. and it's said if you don't have the ability to suppress, you couldn't continue with the bombing campaign. so these are people on our side of the aisle who want to defeat this bill. they have made the argument, i think, as to why we should pass it. i want to thank mr. rooney for his leadership and i urge a vote in favor of mr. rooney's bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from florida. mr. rooney: mr. speaker, i yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. rooney: mr. speaker, we have heard a lot argument today and
we had the great debate. a debate we should have been having over the last 100 days or so. one that could have been spurred on by the administration for coming here and making the arguments why we should authorize or should not authorize hostilities -- >> the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. the house is not in order. those members in the back of the chamber please discontinue your conversation so we can complete this debate. the gentleman from florida. mr. rooney: the president had the opportunity to come and make the case to this body and chose not to. the war powers act is clear, he's violated that law. some have said it's unconstitutional, but the courts have never weighed in on it. so it is the law of the land and one we have to abide by. but we can send resolution after resolution to the senate saying that we don't agree, we don't authorize, in the end the power that we have is the power of the purse, as mr. terry just said. we have to exercise that power
in this house and say we aren't going to spend money for hostilities in libya. we heard the mission, if you want to take out gaddafi, or if you want to free the libyan people and give them the liberty we deserve, number one, it was never the mission to begin with to take out gaddafi. that has somehow mored of -- morphed over time. we don't even know who the people are that we are supposedly setting free. without that debate and without that argument the president has failed to make, and i appreciate the debate we have had today because i think it's been very helpful. all we can do is say until the president comes and makes that case and gets authorization, he won't get funds. at the same time, responsibly saying to our nato allies, we'll support you in the rear, but we are not engaging in hostile
>> for a breakdown of the votes, go to our web site. the house has gone home until after the july 4 holiday. live coverage when members return here on c-span. find video of every house and senate schedule, daily schedules, committee hearings, and information on your elected officials at c-span.org/congress. >> next, massachusetts congressman jim mcgovern and representative tom cole from oklahoma discuss troop reduction
in afghanistan. saturday, a panel of law professors will review the major supreme court decisions from the last term. live coverage begins at 9:00 a.m. eastern. now, congressional reaction to the u.s. troop reduction plan and debt reduction talks. we begin with massachusetts democrat jim mcgovern. from "washington journal," this is about 25 minutes. pressing you by the c-span alert button. >> "washington journal" continues. >> we want to welcome back to c- span congressman mcgovern. a lot to talk about. the house taking up two resolutions on libya, one to cut funding and one to continue operations for a guest: full year -- for a full year.
guest: the problem with libya is there is no clarity in our policy. i'm not sure what the endgame is. if we get gaddafi, then what? who are the good guys in libya? there's a lot of confusion as to how we get out of this war. i think that's the right thing to do constitutionally. two, i think we would have had a debate, which would have led to more clarity on a policy on libya. right now, there's a lot of frustration as to what we do in libya. host: what it's going to happen today? guest: i have no idea how the house is going to vote. i know there's a lot of anxiety over what we are doing in libya, both democrats and republicans. it's unclear how it will work out. host: general david petraeus said he would have preferred a slower pullout from afghanistan. we heard from the president, 10,000 troops troops this year and another 20,000.
your view? guest: i give the president credit for announcing we need to rethink our afghanistan policy. what he said, a drawdown of troops, 10,000 troops by the end of this year, and the remaining 23,000 at the end of 2012 -- what he announced, in my opinion, is unacceptable and insufficient. a continuation basically of the status quo. we're still going to have 100,000 troops on the ground fighting the same war with the same strategy. i think we need to rethink this. we have been in afghanistan for almost 10 years. that's the longest war in our history. there was an article in "the washington post" a couple of days ago. he points out that u.s. involvement in world war ii --
u.s. fighting in afghanistan reached that milestone in 2005. we have played a heavy price in terms of blood and treasure. i was listening to the show and people calling in about the debt. if you are concerned about the debt, you ought to want to end these wars. we are borrowing for afghanistan alone. we are not paying for it. host: let me follow up on that. henry kissinger has an editorial that says it is a focus more on exit and less on strategy. how do you make the cost of the last 10 years, including blood and treasure, worth something, if you do not do it in a way that provides more strategy for the afghan people, the military, and the government? guest: i am not a big fan of
henry kissinger. i think he has been wrong on a lot of things over the years. putting that aside, we should be thinking about what the next step is free we should have an exit strategy. walter jones, a republican from north carolina and i, had an amendment asking the white house to give us an exit strategy. it also asked for a new intelligence estimate, so we know where al-qaeda is free we know they're not in afghanistan. osama bin laden, we got him not with 100,000 troops on the ground, but a small group of navy seals in pakistan, not even in afghanistan. the other thing would call for a plan on how to accelerate the peace talks, how to get a political solution to what is happening in afghanistan. i do not know if that's possible. it's a very complicated place on a bunch of levels. we ought to be working with
their regional players. we ought to be working with, obviously, the afghan people, to make sure there are more women and ethnic minorities at the table when we are talking about a political solution to we need to be working toward a political solution. keeping 100,000 troops on the ground for another year, another 18 months, another five years, i do not think that answers the cause of peace. host: general david petraeus said the cia budget is a bargain compared to what we're spending in the military and that the cia will have a key role in a post military afghanistan. clinton also testified on the issue of rebuilding in afghanistan. here's part of her testimony. >> i will hasten to say that we are painfully aware of today's fiscal realities. i know that it is tempting for some to appeal of the civilian and diplomatic elements of our strategy -- to peel off the civilian and diplomatic
elements of our strategy. it would be a terrible mistake. i'm not saying that just for myself, but as the commanders on the ground will tell you. the three surges worked hand in hand to you cannot cut or limit 1 and expect the other two to 60. i believe we are saving money, and much more importantly, lives, by investing now. let's not forget. an entire year of civilian assistance in afghanistan cost americans the same amount as of 10 days of military operations. host: secretary of state hillary clinton. representative jim mcgovern, your reaction? guest: in a big fan of hillary clinton. i think she's doing a great job of secretary of state. i support trying to help the afghan people in economic aid. here is the condition i would insist on. that is that a go through not the government of afghanistan, leaders, womenl
leaders, people have a proven record of not abusing our taxpayer money. one of my biggest complaint about our involvement in afghanistan has been allegiance to this karzai government, which, which, -- karzai government, which is corrupt and incompetent. he has gone to places where he should not have gone. we have seen the stories in the newspapers free we have been briefed on this stuff. we need to insist that any reconstruction dollars that go to afghanistan get there to do what they are supposed to do. i think helping the afghan people rebuild and invest is a better way to go quite frankly that more of the same old, same old, which is more war. host: we are talking to congressman mcgovern. we will get to your questions in
a moment. the other issue dominating the headlines today -- your colleague pulling out yesterday, saying it is now up to the speaker and the president to work out a final deal. guest: how childish to walk out of a negotiation. trying to figure out a way to resolve some of our challenges and deal with the debt ceiling. we need to deal with the debt ceiling in a sensible way because if we do not we defiled on our obligations. i do not know whether my republican friends are deliberately trying to undercut the economy or whether they just are engaging in a game of stupidity. host: is there some internal gop politics on the issue of taxes? guest: maybe there is. it is just seems to me that when
it comes to protecting our economy, we ohost: we are back r separate studio down here at the "washington journal." guest: i hope it was not something i said. we need to come together, democrats and republicans, and figure out a way to come up with a budget that actually helps stimulate the of economy. one of the things that the republicans are doing is they seem to want to balance the budget solely by making cuts aimed at the poorest and most vulnerable in this country. it is the wrong way to go. i think we are a better country than that. so, we need to be more balanced.
the fact that mr. eric cantor walked out because -- maybe we need to ask the donald trumps of the world to pay more taxes. tax subsidies to big oil companies -- why the hell are we doing that? the oil companies are gouging the american consumer and yet we are giving them subsidies. it does not make any sense. we are borrowing to pay for this war. pay for them. i think people are getting sick and tired of nation building over in afghanistan investing in roads, bridges, and schools that get blown up. at home, we are being told that we do not have the money to invest in the economy. we should be talking about jobs. host: we will get to your phone calls in just a moment. the numbers are on the bottom of
your screen. let me jump to where this all this to go at the end of the day. if the republicans are saying no taxes whatsoever, democrats are going to say spending cuts and some revenue increases -- where is the compromise? guest: and the economy is in a difficult situation. we are coming out of the worst economy since the great depression. we have a huge deficit and a huge debt. we have to get that under control. you cannot solve these problems by cutting programs that benefit the most needy in our country or going after social security which is a stupid idea or medicare which is outrageous. i do not know what mr. eric cantor and others are stinking, but this notion that somehow we can cut our way out of this is not the case. one way to be helpful here is to
end these wars in afghanistan and iraq. we are borrowing billions and billions of dollars that are going on to our credit cards and adding to our debt. if you want to get serious about reducing the debt, let's talk about that rather than cutting social security checks. i want to believe that we feel we have a moral obligation to try to make sure that people have a decent life here. we should try to lift people up and not bring them down. host: we are talking to congressman mcgovern. we had a slight power problem earlier this morning. we have moved to the studio here on the first floor, but we are back on the air. robert is joining us from connecticut. good morning, robert. caller: good morning. i have a question. i am a registered democrat since
i was 21. i am 81. social security is deficit spending. the reason why -- the gentle man did not say that the the great congress that takes care of us has a stolen $2 trillion from my social security trust fund. i am paying for it now in my third reduction. the difference is being transferred to medicare which our congress has dipped into. what we put in for less, are congress uses it for themselves. why am i paying for the money that are great congress has taken from it because it is causing deficit spending. guest: i do not disagree with the gentle man. i think we have an obligation to respect of the contract that we made with senior citizens when people begin to pay into social
security at a much younger age. social security is a guarantee. it needs to be there. over the years, congress has dipped into the social security fund for different things. we have to make some adjustments so social security is there not just for the gentleman, but my kids, my grandkids, and my great grandkids. social security is one of the most important and successful programs in the country. this notion that somehow we are going to balance the budget by going after those programs and not touch subsidies of big oil companies, not insist that donald trump pay his fair share in texas, not close corporate loopholes -- it is wrong. what needs to happen is, in the short term, the republicans need to understand that in a negotiation, you have to compromise. they may not get everything they
want. if at the end of the day we come up with something that enhances our fiscal status that makes us more economically strong, then that is a good thing. if you believe the republicans are right, elect a republican president. i think it would be a terrible mistake because i think the republicans are slowing down economic growth in this country. the debt ceiling -- this could be eroding our economy. i do not know whether they do not care or they are just being absolutely reckless. walking out of meetings, throwing tantrums -- my kids do not even do that. we need to get serious again. i am not going to agree with everything that comes out of a compromise, but let's do the
best we can to try to solve this issue. host: don, good morning to you. caller: good morning, sir. my concern is two-fold. number one, we have a president who is creating jobs. if we are not going to do anything to return the manufacturing base that creates our jobs to this country, then what other options to we have to tighten our belts? guest: thank you very much and i appreciate the question. the entitlement reform alone is not going to solve our problems. the republicans of disarray medicare as we know it and try to privatize social security again. i think that is a huge mistake. if social security is
privatized and we experience an economic crisis like the one we had recently, people have nothing. it is a mistake to believe that the only way you can solve our budget problem is going after social security and medicare. those programs need to be protected and reform to be more efficient. we need to cut down on abuse, fraud, and waste. i agree with the gentleman that we need to focus on jobs and rebuild our manufacturing base, and i think the president is doing that. i give credit to steny hoyer. he is courting this phrase "made in america." we are trying to insist that money spent in government contracts are on american-made products and at the top of the list to help to find ways to support our manufacturing base so people are manufacturing in
the united states and not in other countries. the jobs are the key. it is the answer to our deficit and debt problems. it would be helpful if the new republican majority would spend at least one day on jobs. we have talked about everything about jobs. they get into a big frenzy about whether we should cut money for national public radio. that is not what people are worried about. they are worried about their economic security and jobs. let's put people back to work. i think the president is doing a good job trying to get this economy back on track. host: biggie is joining us from toronto, ohio. caller: good morning. we could change all of this by taking all of the tax breaks and loopholes out of what corporations pay, and make
corporations take 50% of their profits, invest it in jobs in the united states, they can keep the profits from the new jobs that they create, and once they make a profit, -- that way, the money will stay here and we will make jobs here. cut the gas consumption in this country by 35%. it would be easy to do and there is no problem in doing it. all we have to do is convert all of the pickup trucks in the united states to natural gas because we could put the tanks right in the bins of the trucks and we could cut the gas consumption by 35%. what do you say about that? the guest: in order to implement any of those ideas, you need a congress that will support them. we try to invest in green, clean
jobs. we had a bill in the house last year that did not go anywhere in the senate. there is a great potential out there for job creation. i urge you to pick up this week's "newsweek" with bill clinton on the cover, talking about 14 different ways to create jobs in america. he talks about the empire state building and how they are making it more energy efficient and at the same time creating more jobs. reed is at issue. there are things we can do. -- read that issue. this notion that the government cannot invest in anything anymore i think is mistaken because you have to invest to create jobs to stimulate the economy and create revenue to help pay down our deficit and our debt.
i think the gentleman has some interesting -- the other thing is corporations should pay their fair share of taxes. there is something wrong when an average person has to pay taxes , and then a corporation like ge gets a refund. why don't we all be fair about this? eliminating the loopholes. if you want to lower the corporate tax rate, i am ok with that if you eliminate all of the loopholes so everyone pays their fair share. i think that would be helpful in reducing some of our deficit problems. host: we talked about libya and the debt talks let me bring it back to afghanistan. mike mullen testified on the hill, and one of the questions posed in terms of u.s. and our counterparts in pakistan and whether they are on board with
some of the changes outlined by the president this week and its impacts on pakistan. here is an excerpt from yesterday's hearing. >> one of the most important factors as you well know is the pakistan reaction. i assume that the pakistan situation was taken into account when this decision was made. >> it was. >> what is their reaction? >> do you mean the pakistan reaction or pakistan itself? what's the reaction to the decision to have -- >> i have not gotten in yet. i spoke with my pakistani counterpart yesterday. we made many contacts. we agreed to talk in the near future after he is able to absorb it. from the standpoint of how pakistan does use the future and is consistent across their
government, they see a stable, peaceful afghanistan. as a goal, they too would like to be a result of this overall strategy. seeing is believing. over time, exactly how they view this will be determined on how this works, i think, personally. host: how did you assess the situation in pakistan and afghanistan? your thoughts? guest: i think what the president announced is insufficient. i think we should be drawing down more troops and more rapidly. as it relates to pakistan, one of the problems of this war that we are conducting in afghanistan is we are forcing thousands and thousands of militants into pakistan which is further destabilizing in pakistan. we have a very unusual relationship with pakistan.
they have nuclear weapons. we are going to have to work of the complicated relationship. i believe the correct policy we have in afghanistan is making things worse, not better. we need to rethink our afghan strategy, and we need to figure out a way to have an exit with benchmarks. we need to bring our troops home where they belong. they do not belong in the middle of mountains and deserts fighting in a fallout land in support of a corrupt government. the need to be home with their families. our men and women in uniform are too important to us. we ought to make sure that we do not put them in harm's way unnecessarily. this is a war of choice. host: good morning. caller: steve, thank you for c- span. i want to make three quick points.
please let me finish these. number one, [unintelligible] 90% of the opium used in the world -- there have been trillions of dollars worth of lithium that have been found in afghanistan. this is what makes these new batteries green. number three is this. the bush tax cuts in 2001, also medicare part b, all this was put on. how you expect an economy to change when you are doing the same thing? it is stupidity. you took from social security but you gave a payroll tax cut. host: thank you for the call.
guest: i agree with the gentleman that we should not have extended the bush tax cuts for the wealthy. on afghanistan, he is right. it is a rich country in many ways and has great potential. what is in our interest is to encourage a political solution, but i do not believe that the status quo, more war and casualties and cost -- we have paid a heavy cost. we need to make it clear to mr. karzei that we are not going to continue to provide him money and support only to have it lost in corruption. to me, it is unacceptable and an insult to our men and women who are fighting over there for a government of afghanistan that is corrupt. this is a country that is not used to is centralized government. the one that we are giving them
is awful. it is complicated but we need to shift gears away from war, more into encouraging a political solution cannot get the regional players involved, find a way to protect the rights of women and minorities in afghanistan, but span.org/campaign2012. >> "washington journal" continues. host: we want to welcome tom cole. we appreciate your time and patience this morning. the house of representatives today taking up the lib issue, whether they will continue
fighting or cut funding guest: i am goingo vote no on both of the resolutions. i do not support the resolution, but i also do not support the alternative resolution. i think it is very well intentioned, but at the end of the day, it really does boast too much and too little. too much in the sensehat we should not be micromanaging what missions the military can do. congress should set broad objectives and support the military. you can do intelligence operations. that is way too much of a level of detail. it is too little because it really does not stop anything. but the reality is we are going to be able to continueretty much everything that we are doing right now other than predator strikes in libya. after shooting more than 200 tomahawk missiles, there are not that many targets left.
i think the resolution, you know, is designed to make us look like we are doing something, but we are still avoiding the issue at the end of the day. the president is fighting an unauthorized, illegal war. we should support the president. or we should pull the plug. just allowing this thing to continue which is what we are effectively doing -- it enhances the power of the executive branch inappropriately. host: the republican from iowa joined as yesterday and this is what he had to say. >> there are a lot of members of this congress that when to pull out funding from libya. we can do that. i do not agree with that because we have started an operation in libya. i am glad he pulled our military ou of direct engagement with
the military with exception of the predators. we are flyingupport missions, refueling, and we are helping with our intelligence to select targets for other nato operations that are going on. we have an agreement with nato, a nato treaty. i do not want to see congress navigate a treaty with nato for the same reasons i talked about america's resolved. there are a lot the rearrangement in the world that will take place. eastern europe will take a look at this and say now you pulled out of an agreement with nato in the middle of the operation over libya. america has to be a reliable partner. i think the congress needs to recognize that. host: congressman cole, how do you respond? guest: i have enormous respect for steve. i disagree with him in this case. first of all, you have to go
back to the basics of why we are there. the united states was not attacked. no member of nato was attacked. muammar gaddafi is a terrible guy. the reality is, since 2003, he has turned over his weapons- grade material to us and does not allowed al-qaeda to operate within his territory. if you are going to decide to take him out because he is a bad guy -- why we got into this is a mystery i think to everybody. the reality is we just decided weant to be on the side of the arab street or the uprising. we thought muammar gaddafi was going to fall pretty quickly. it turned out he has an army at even after we pounded it is willing to fight at some level. he has a measure of popular support. the rebels that we have aligned
with are not strong enough to bring this to a successful conclusion. i do not think it has been well thought through. it is true that there is a nato operation under way, but again, the alliance was not created simply to police the world. it was created to protect its members. the united states was attacked from afghanistan. it does not make a lot of sense r us to be in libya unless you e going to intervene politically in a lot of other places. host: i want to talk to you about the budget talks and afghanistan lisa has been patient. thank you for waiting. caller: i am very concerned about my country. all i see is a president who continues to run around congress. i do not appreciate the fact th he has drug us into libya
without the consent of congress. i do not know if you are aware of it, sir, but samantha powers has made comments about using nato forces to go in against israel in defense of the palestinians. if you guys are not going to hold president obama accountable for dragging us into a war without consent, what will you do if he does this in september and uses nato forces to go into rael? guest: first of all, i agree very much with your comments about libya. we have allowed the president to wage an unauthorized war. we are robbing peter to pay paul. we are allowing the president to continue. that is why i do not plan to
support these resolutiontoday. i am not aware of t comments that you refer to. i think it is unlikely that that will happen. i do not think nato has an appetite to do it. nato is having a problem dealing with a countryf 6.5 million that has no where near the capabilities of israel. i do not think that would occur. host: tom cole represents oklahoma's fourth congressional district. rebecca is jning us on our line for democrats. go ahead, please. caller: i am glad to see and hear that the republicans are against going into libya and also wanting us to get out of afghanistan. what authorization it did president bush have to go into iraq which cost us a fortune? now the republicans are so concerned about our deficit. what happened during the eight
years at that bush was in as the president? the republicans were running the country and they were spending money as if it was their money. they were spending the taxpayers' money, and now you are so concerned about our deficit and trying to put the deficit on the backs of the people who are losing their jobs, losing their homes, and now you still want to keep the tax cuts for the rich and give corporate america and all of the bank'sll of the loopholes that they have? i think the american people -- the republicans are destroying our country, and we are not a stupid as you think we are. guest: there is a lot to respond to their so i will do the best i can. look, i do not see the libyan question as deficit-related. i think if we go to war, we
ought to authorize it by congress. iraq was authorized as was afghanistan. president bush got the authorization just as his father did back in the gulf war. i think that is the right way to do things. i do not think that is what we have done with libya at all. we have engaged in semantics. i think if you are at the receiving end of that, -- i just disagree fundamentally with what the president has done and how he has gone about it. i disagree that we have not held him accountable in a way that i think we should. in terms of deficit spending, for what it is worth, the deficit was $167 billion with the last congress left office in 2006. that is too big of a deficit but
it is not $1.50 trillion the way it is now. we have ramped up spending very rapidly and have put off dealing with entitlements situations. we are approaching a debt crisis. republicans have put their ideas on the table. what we have not had our counter proposals from democrats. they have not put any proposals for dealing with entitlements on the table. the president's own budget was rejected by the senate 97-0, meaning a got no democratic votes. i think there have been a lot of bob and weave on both sides but more on the democratic side. put some more concrete proposals on the table. i think that is what republicans are trying to do. host: as the former chair of the nrcc, as you look ahead to 2012
for the house of representatives, will the republicans ga or lose seats? guest: i think we will hold the majority. no president has shifted control of the house in the reelection campaign since harry truman in 1948. this is the largest republican majority since 1947. i expect this to be a closer presidential election than what we had in 2008. the president had everything going for him in terms of numbers. there was a financial crisis on the bush watch. john mccain still got over 170 electoral votes. i am expecting a very competitive election. within that context, i think we basically have the status quo tight election. -- type election. this is a pretty good class of freshmen. the nrcc is very well-prepared.
we will have some offensive opportunities of our own. there are some democrat seats that will be available. i think we will hold the majority and run a verylose president to raise. i think we have a good shot of taking the u.s. senate. i am looking forward very much to the 2012 election. host: do you think that the reblicans could lose some house seat? guest: absolutely. normally after you have a big game like this, you receded somewhat. in the 1994 class, -- the really neat election was in 1996. we did lose seats in 1996. we lost seats in 1998. we lost one seat in 2000. the enormous gains, sometimes
then you settle back to more realistic numbers. that is certainly possible in this case, but again, i think holding the majority -- i think we are very unlikely to lose the majority. host: keith is joining us the republican line. good morning. caller: good morning. thank you for your service. can i ask a question first? sir, do you know who the first casualty of war was in afghanistan? s name was john michael span. he was a contractor for the cia and was questioning t taliban in a prison. our military took the country in two weeks without a casualty. john walker is about to get out of prison. we a so schizophrenic about
this. we need to go back to the art of war -- we need to go back to " the art of war." i believe we do not even need troops on the ground. we have b2 bombers. this slow thing of predators and apologizing every day for civilian casualties, we need to start leveling these govnmen the first day and apologize for the civilians and that day and then let them rebuild their own country. guest: well, you know, actually, i would disagree respectively in terms of having troops on the grou. secretary gates and secretary clinton said before the administration was committed to libya and no-fly zone usually does not bring down a government. we did that in iraq for many years. saddam hussein managed to hold power and the same thing in libya. even the active use of forces
from the air to engaged libyan forces on the ground, so far, we have not broken that regime. it is not something that u need to worry about militarily. there are times when you need to put troops on the ground. in terms of being careful about our involvement, i think that is accurate. you make an interesting point about afghanistan. the first five years, there were fewer than 160 american deaths associated with afghanistan. it looked pretty successful for a long period of time. it is certainly much tougher now because the death total is up to 1500. you have to remember that we were attacked from afghanistan. we have an interest in somody being able to control the territory. we have been more successful there than what people
acknowledge. osama bin laden whatas been killed. the reality is the taliban does not control the country. they control parts of the couny, so we have not seen terrorism reconstitute itself on the ground. there is seven times as many people in school. the a economy is actually better. there is an enormous corruption problem, no question about it. but afghanistan is better off now. the real question -- the challenge for the president and the congress going forward is everyone wants to draw down. how quickly do you do it? i give the president a lot of credit when he arrived. he tripled the number of troops and fired two generals. he also said very clearly that we would not be there forever, that we were going to accomplish some things and stand up the afghans. he has kept to his promises. we can debate about whether this
drawdown is not fast enough or maybe too fast, maybe runng the risk of some fragile gains. but it fits within the parameters of what the president told us he was going to do. i think you have to recognize that and you have to recognize that we have a long-term security interest. we have been in afghanistan before. we were heavily involved there in directly. we left and we saw what happened when we left completely. it was the lesson that we learned after the first world war. we were fighting the same people. we stad continuously engaged in europe. i think we do not need the level of engagement today indefinitely, but we are going to be in afghanistan for probably a long time. host: what happens next? guest: i think we have it down to the principles now. this is going to be -- president obama, speaker john boehner, and
the gentlelady may proceed. ms. ros-lehtinen: i thank the speaker. mr. speaker, i do not support a complete u.s. withdrawal from nato's operation unified protector. i believe that it is necessary for u.s. armed forces to remain engaged in a limited capacity. however, i cannot support an authorization which constitutes our current level of engagement for an entire year. this is what is proposed in h.j.res. 68 offered by my friend from florida, mr. hastings, and i therefore must rise in opposition to his resolution. this resolution not only authorizes u.s. military engagement in libya, far beyond even the 90-day nato extension, but it justifies u.s. military engagement in libya as undertaken to enforce a united nationsecurity council
resolution and at the request of the transitional national council the gulf -- national council, the gulf council and the arab league. where is the united nations in this equation? if an authorization resolution had been put forward in february i might have been able to support it. i understand the mission, but in the intervening period, conditions have changed significantly on the ground in libya within nato, with our nato partners and here in the u.s. decisive action with congressional authorization at the outset might have solved this problem quickly. but now we have drifted into an apparently open-ended commitment with goals that remain only vaguely defined, and that is at the heart of the problem, mr. speaker. the president asserted, quote, these strikes will be limited in their nature, duration and
scope, end quote. well, it is now day 97. 97 of our involvement of u.s. armed forces in hostilities regarding libya, yet, gaddafi still clings to power and the opposition appears to be no closer to a decisive victory. command for the military operation has been transferred to nato. yet, the constrained role the president hasaid is being played by u.s. forces in libya still includes nearly one quarter of the total planes flown in libya, suppression of enemy defensthrough strikes, strikes by unmanned predators on gaddafi targets, nearly 70% of the mission's intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance, and over 75% of all airline -- aial
refueling. yet, the president has yet to explain just what the interests are at staveg and what outcomes he's hoping to achieve. the resolution offered by our speaker, speaker boehner, and adopted by this chamber on june 3 posed specific questions that required straight answers. instead, we received a letter and accompanying documents from secretary of state for legislative affairs and secretary of defense for legislative affairs which stated that u.s. action in libya were, and i quote, taken in response to direct appeals from the libyan people and acting with a mandate from the united nations, end quote. let me repeat, quote, a mandate from the united nations, end quote. the administration proceeded to justify its current policy by asserting that u.s. military operations in libya do not constitute hostilities.
this argument is so incredulous that even the attorneys in the office of legal counsel do not agree. therefore, i am not optimistic that the reporting provisions in the resolution we are considering today which calls for, quote, a full and updated explanation of the president's legal and constitutional rationalse for conducting military operation -- rationales for conducting military operation in libya will not be for congressional prerogatives. again, i must underscore i do not support a complete widrawal from our commitments concerning libya. that would be dangerous. that would be ill-advised. a complete withdrawal of all u.s. military assets from the libya operations would undermine our intelligence efforts and our foreign policy goals and would all but assure a victory for gaddafi. it can lead to greater instability, which could affect
nato opetions in iraq and afghanistan, and a critical stage of transition. there is also proliferation concerns at stake, particularly as an increasing number of weapons have moved into the region and reportedly fallen into the hands of extremist organizations, including al qaeda and the islamic magram. the gaddafi regime is an unpredictable regime which has chemical weapons, including mustard and possible serum gas. while a complete withdrawal is unacceptable, the resolution before us is unacceptable. it ratifies that all of the president has done and it would grant him the blessings of congress to continue on its present course. the resolution before us would enable mission -- rather than u.s. engagement. i must, therefore, oppose this resolution, and i reserve the balance of my time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: mr. speaker, i rise in support of the resolution, and i yield two minutes to the sponsor of the resolution, the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for two minutes. mr. hastings: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, howard. it's hard time that congress asserts its authority and engages proactively with the administration on this los serious question of war. i just kind of wonder where my colleagues have been all these years that we have had presidents in war. it will be interesting to see a matchup of their votes with this one. mr. speaker, the underlying legislation authorizes the limited use of united states' forces in support of the nato mission in libya. this legislation is a bipartisan effort to prevent the kind of open-ended, indefinite military commitment we have elsewhere in the world. register that as afghanistan and iraq.
this resolution is the companion to forward-leaning senate legislation introduced by senators kerry, mccain and cardin and durbin. immediately after they introduced the legislation in the senate, i brought it to the house so we can make progress on thivery important debate before us. if i had my way, and i don't, mr. chairman, we wouldn't be in libya at all. but i don't have my way, and here we are and the solution now is going to be to cut off funding and suddenly walk out. we have a responsibility to our allies. as long as we are continuing to supply logistics, materials and critical intligence and operational capabilities and no boots are on the ground, we must support our allies who are carrying out the direct combat operations. we must stand with nato. again, mr. speaker, if i had my way, and i don't, there are revisions to this resolution
that i think congress ought to consider. i maintained that a better date to end the authorization would be in september and certainly no later than december. the one-year authorization in this one limits the president's ability to engage our armed forces indefinitely so that we don't find ourselves neck deep in another war. at the same time this authorization prohibits the use of ground forces and -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. berman: i yield the gentleman an additional 15 seconds. mr. hastings: and i won't use all of that. at the same time, this authorization prohibit the use of ground forces and requires the president to continually report to congress. i would rather us use some of libya's frozen assets so that we could have them pay for the mischief they began. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from
texas, dr. paul, a member of our committee on foreign affairs. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. paul: i thank the gentlelady for yielding and ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. paul: mrspeaker, this is a resolution that endorses the policies that have been going on for four months. not only is the congress basically been pretty strong in opposition of what's been going on, the american people are even more so. so what this resolution does, it endorses exactly what has been going on, another unconstitutional war, involvement and justification under nato, the united nations, doing it secretly. there's an attempt to restrain the funding of this effort over here over in libya, but why and how can we restrain it because we never authorized it? restrain unauthorized funds? the president just goes and does it. .
the challenge on the congress lookin at the unitary president. the unitary president has been around for quite a few years and that means presidents do what he they want. the congress just acknowledges it. so that is what we are doing. this is what this resolution does. it acknowledges and gives the authority to the president to pursue what he has been doing. so obviously h.j.res. 68 for me is a very, very strong no because the last thing we need to do is be giving explicit support and authorization for the very policies that so many people now think are taken ill-advisedly. it says this resolution also says you don't send any ground troops. that is fine. no ground troops. but in this day and age war can go on for a long time without the ground troops, and just think it happened in -- to a degree in bosnia. but today -- it didn't exempt to
such things as show the forces, the c.i.a., the c.i.a.'s been in libya. i'm sure they will be as it's in many, many hundreds of other countries. contractors, when we can't send in troops we send in contractors. we have as many contractors in afghanistan we do in the military. so a couple thousand troops out of afghanistan and not to change the contractors, nothing ever changes. but this whole idea of legalizing this effort, to legalize the bombing, at least give the authority to the president to continue this is foolhardy. how many more wars can we withstand? what mum is this? this is number five and today in the paper is number six coming? how long will it be before we are in syria? go into syria tomorrow and in 90 days we'll start talking about syria again. instead we in cgress have allowed us to gve up the responsibilities. because responsibility of going to war should have been and
still remains actually mandated that the congress makes these decisions. the president is not supposed to get us engaged in anybody and say whatever you need, we'll endorse it, we'll do t but we have another resolution coming up shortly and uortunately -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. paul: i am convinced the next resolution -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for an additional 30 seconds. mr. paul: unfortunately, i think the next resolution, h.r. 227 doesn't do much differently because it has too many exemptions. it says denies funding and it has too many exceptions and it allows the very things the president is doing. both resolutions have deep shortcomings. both resolutions should be defeated if you are opposed to this war in libya. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's me has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: i'm pleased to yield 90 seconds to the gentleman from washington, mr. mcdermott. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is
recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. without objection. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, i rise in support of the president's response to libya. a week after it started, i received a phone call from a professor at the university of washington who had left, a very distinguished professor, and was back i libya. he is now the finance minister. he said to me, please give us air cover. if we can protect us from the air, we can take care of it ourselves on the ground. and as i listened to him i thought of an experience i had with president clinton. i flew to africa and met with people who had been part of the massacre, the maimed, and then i saw the president go into the hangar and speak to 500 rawandans and apologize for not having responded to the rawandan
massacre at the first day. this was a situation where the libyans were asking for it. it was one where the arab league was asking for it. this is not something that was cooked up in the white house and created and sent out. this was done in response people on the ground. my belief is that these kinds of situations require the president to act decisively and he did, and i support him. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, mr. speaker. i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from texas, judge poe, vice chairman of the foreign affairs subcommittee on oversight and investigation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. poe: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate the chair lady yielding me time on this issue. mr. speaker, going to war is a big deal. that's why our forefathers put
in the constitution that when america is to go to wa it is congress that is to lead that charge. it is congress to authorize america going to war. and that's beenhe law in the constitution since it was written. then came the war powers resolution. and congress decided that it would give a little of that constitutional authority to the president for a period of days until he justified his action before congress. we can argue whether war powers resolution is constitutional or not, but any event congress has not led america to war in libya. the president has. the president made that decision. and as james madison, the author of the constitution, said to a letter to thomas jefferson, i paraphrase, it has been the history of peoples that it has been the executive branch that
has led a country to war. anthat's why our constitution prevented kings and dictators and even presidents from leading this country to war. it must be authorized by congress. but now we find ourselves in amera's at least third war in libya. the president took us to war and now on this day we are being asked to support and justify that war in this resolution. i vote no on this resolution. we have no business in libya. even the administration has sai it's not a national security interest of the united states to be in libya. so why are we there? we are there because we don't like omar gaddafi. there are a lot of bad guys in the world and if we start picking them off one at a time we'll be at war with most of the world. because most of the world is led by rogue dictators or bad guys.
we have no business being in libya. we have no business justifying this war on the house floor. it is congress' responsibility to defund any further action in libya. and that is what we should do. it's unfortunate we don't have that up or down vote. i wish we could vote up or down today on that issue and let the house decide if we should be at war in libya. $700 million has already been spent in the war in libya. it's hard to figure out where that money came from. i get different answers from different people about where the president got that money. but maybe we should spend that $700 million in the united states building america rather than blowin up libya. i think that would be a better use of funds. we need to take care of america. we shouldn't benvolved in somebody else's civil war in libya. who are the rebels? we are not sure who they are either. they may be extremists, they may be patriots, they may be a democratic philosophy. we have no idea. i'd ask for another minute.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time haexpired. ms. ros-lehtinen: the gentleman has an additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. poe: we don't know who the rebels are. they may be worse than omar gaddafi, isn't that a lovely situation, if they take control. we replace an oppressive regime with an extremist radical regime. that's all because we are in a war that was unauthorized by this congress, cut off all funds, vote against this resolution. that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to a gentleman of the opposite view of this issue than i have, the gentleman from ohio, mr. kucinich. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. kucinich: what? we don't have enough wars going on? the war in iraq, war in afghanistan. we need one more war.
we have to wage wargainst another nation which did not attack us? we have to wage war against another nation which does not represent an actual or imminent threat to the united states? mr. speaker, i have to tell you i have been all over this country and i haven't had a single person come up to me to tell me, you know, dennis, what america needs is another war. the last thing we need is to be voting to go to war. therare plenty of reasons to oppose the war in libya. it's unconstitutional. article 1, section 8 has given the congress the power to declare war. it's illegal. the war powers resolution was passed over presidential veto to allow the president latitude where there is an imminent threat to the u.s. or retain the constitutional duty of congress, even the president's top legal
advisors at the pentagon and department ofustice determines that the war powers resolution applies to the war in libya. another reason is americans don't want this war. a poll taken at the beginning of the month by cbs found that six in 10 americans do nothink the united states should be involved in conflict with libya. just 30% of americans in that poll thought the united states was doing the right thing by taking part in the current military conflict. a majority of republicans, democrats, and independents alike think the u.s. shld not be involved in libya. next, this war is a distraction. our flailing economy demands the full attention of congress and the president. the american people have little patience for less, especially for war of choice. the cost of the war, mr. speaker, we spent $750 million far. if we keep going on it will cost billions. we have to end this war. vote against this authorization. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired.
the gentlelady from florida. miss ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman om illinois, mr. kinzinger, a member of the committee on energy and commerce. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. miss kinzinger: i thank the gentlelady for yielding. i stand today in support of this resolution. the world is watching our actions today. the world is asking what are we going to do? we talk all the time about allowing europe to take the lead in certain areas. allowing natea -- nato to take the lead and they have done that. now will we today pull the rug out from under them simply because we have a dispute between the legislative and the executive branch? i think the president should have come to this chamber, too, but he didn't. but the wrong thing to do is to pull fundingand the right thing to do is to give him the authorization to go into libya. a slaughter almost occurred and we were able to stop it by our presence there. the house -- the vote we take in the house today will have implications far beyond ou
shores and far into the future. finally i'm reminded of a quote by george shington which states, lirtywhen it begins to take root is a plant of rapid growth. i support this resolution and would urge all my colleagues to do the same. in doing so we will be supporting the planting of freedom and liberty in the middle east. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. whereman -- mr. berman: i'm pleased to yield a minute and a half to the ranking member of the house appropriations committee, the gentleman from washington, mr. dicks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 1 2 minutes. mr. dicks: i strongly support the hastings amendment. in my judgment the president's initial commitment of u.s. airpower and naval forces to support the international effort was appropriate. and certainly within his powers as commander in chief. u.s. effort was undertakenn concert with a broad coalition of nations and it followed a resolution adopted in the united
nations security council authorizing all necessary measures to protect libyan civilians attempting to overthrow the oppressive regime of muammar gaddafi. the gaddafi government's response to the uprising inspired by arab spring was to use force against civilians in opposition forces and the brutal measures prompted the international outcry in the u.n. action. in march, the president clearly outlin the rationale for our involvement in this military action. while the direct u.s. leadership of this effort lasted a brief time, u.s. forces remain engaged in the nato operation and in this chamber today we are considering both the resolution authorizing the continued use of limited u.s. involvement in this effort or an immediate withdrawal from it. while i believe it would have been more appropriate for the president under the terms of the war powers act to come to congress earlier, i believe the language offered by hastings of florida similar to the language introduced in the other body by senators mccain and kerry, is the appropriate course of action at this time. the language preserves the
understanding between the administration and congress that u.s. ground forces are not appropriate at this time and were not asked for by the rebels. the strict limitatn of funds in the resolution offered by mr. rooney of florida would end our involvement unilaterally. i believe this action would be unwise. and that it would materially harm our relationship with nato allies. . when i hear many of my colleagues on the other side of the house chamber speaking in favor of abandoning the cause, i'm reminded of ronald reagan who attacked libya with airpower and called gaddafi the mad dog of the middle east. and i yield back the remaining of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman'time has expired. the gentlelady from florida. you reserve? the gentleman from california. ms. ros-lehtinen: continue to reserve. mr. berman: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield 90 seconds to the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. levin: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore:
without objection. mr. levin: we should learn from the past. there are indeed times when american national interests should overtake political or partisan political interests. i remember the debate on kosovo 12 years ago. congress refused to authorize american action by a split vote. that was a tragic mistake. house republican leadership opposed that resolution. 187 noes against 31 yeses. i believe it was clear then that republicans would not have opposed the kosovo resolution, at least in those numbers, if george bush had been president. today there are echoes from kosovo othis libyan resolution. the republicans should not make
the same mistake again. we should join together to support the hastings resolution that's consistent with the war powers act. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: i'm going to yield -- mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. ellison: mr. speaker, i rise in support of the hastings resolution. i think it's important to remember that u.s. military force is a very awesome thing and should only be planned parenthood in very select circumstances -- should only be used in very select circumstances. we have used that in an
improper way for too long in afghanistan. when people are being slaughtered by dictators around the world where massive loss of lives are at stake. i think it's important for the united states to step up and protect those people. yes, we have business in libya. we have a business of protecting mass murder from happening -- stopping mass murder from happening all ound the world. we need to stop the destabilization of regions like africa. we have a business in making sure that the peaceful resolutions in egypt and in tunisia are not undermined. we have business of making sure that dictators, like ali salah in yemen and the one in syria are not embolden and the signal does not go to them that they can continue to wipe out their population and nobody cares. i believe if i was in this congress when rwanda or serb or
darfur were helping, i think the people needed protection and the most powerful nation in the world should stand by while innocent children and women are being mowed down. and i hope today that colleagues will in -- join in that and i think it's the right thing to do. thank you very much. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. berman: mr. speaker, how much time is remaining on each side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california has 10 minutes remaining, and the gentlelady from florida has six minutes remaining. mr. berman: ok. mr. speaker, i'm pleased to -- automatic' pleased to yield -- i'm pleased to yield 90 second to the gentlelady from texas, ms. sheila jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas is recognized for a minute and a half. ms. jackson lee: i thank the distinguished speaker and to the distinguished mbers that are on this floor. what a heck of a position to be in, and let me make it very
clear this is a set of circumstances that frames itself around the constitution, the war powers resolution that indicates that congress must be consulted. but i am in the middle o my actions that took place months ago or many weeks ago as the crisis and the murderous acts of colonel gaddafi began to seize his people and we went to the libyan embassy to ask for colonel gaddafi to step down and we then joined with the then ambassador in his courageous acts. colonel gaddafi is known to oppress his people, deny freedom of press and speech as well aassociation to train dictators in opprsion and intelligence and the murderous acts still go on. but it is a crisis when we have an administration,
unfortunately, that is not seem fit to undertake the consultation that is necessary. yet, i believe that we should finish the task, and it is different from iraq and it is different from afghanistan. we have a time certain, and as well we have the arab league that has asked us to stand with th against the oppression of one of its members. this is a door opener to say to the people that we have asked to be with us, to go against terrorist acts to stand for democracy. so this is a devastating position to put the members of congress in, but we must do our duty today, and i believe that it is good to say that the hastings amendment is -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: i prefer six month, and i hope there is an opportunity to -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. berman: mr. speaker, i'm
pleased to yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from california, mr. garamendi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. garamendi: mr. speaker and members, apparently the house has debated for more than almost 4years now the war powers agreement or war powers law. what we have before us today is a way in which we can effect that and put it into position. there are four reasons. first, there is a humanitarian issue here, and that's why we went into this in the first place. the united nations resolution on the obligation to protect, and indeed there was a threat. secondly, this particular intervention is supported by the united nations, by nato, by the arab league and the most unusual situation asking for
support of the european and the united states inn arab country. finally, we must continue our support of the effort, and we must do it in a veryimited way. the resolution does that. it provides for a very limited scope and a limited period of time, and, therefore, it is in order and it appropriately puts the congress, both houses, if it passes the senate, in support of the operation thereby fulfilling the war powers act. i'd ask for an aye vote on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. who eks time? ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased and honored to yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, subcommittee on africa, global and human rights. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: i thank the distinguished chairwoman for yielding and thank her for her leadership on human rights issues. let me just say, mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to h.j.res.
68. you know, when the u.s. intervention in libya began last march i raised and i was among many several still unanswered questions about our involvement. they included questions about the identity and the aims of the rebels, the varying presidential statements that seemed to shift like the wind, the level of u.s. involvement, the possibility of gaddafi retaliating against american interests outside libya and whether u.s. ground troops may be requested at some point, though the resolution seems to clearly say that that would not be authorized by congress. in the course in the debate about the constitutionality and the viability of the war powers resolution, these questions have remained unanswered. the president has refused to seek congressional approval of his action or even to provide a full explanation of his decisions. and the nato campaign continues, new questions arisen of new participation of what nato's involvement in libya. let me say a statement was made a moment ago about kosovo and
somehow the republican opposition to kosovo was political. i remember because i was very involved in the balkan situation. i visited there many times. visited with any lohse vick, the dick -- with miloshivic, in croatia, to the attackers coming into serbia. so frankly the statent that was made earlier i think it did a disservice to those that were not supportive of the kosovo operation. there was no man for the kosovo albanian. if members may remember, that country was literally, literally pushed out into macedonia and elsewhere. especially macedonia, because there was no plan when any lohse vitch sent in the ground troo and killed thousands of people. the revision this was somehow a political calculation falls very, very far from the truth.
i actually held hearings during it and stated my opposition based on principle as did other members. i would hope there would not be that lookback that does a disservice to republican opposition. who exactly are we backing in libya? what is the justification on international law? it is therefore directing both u.s. foreign governmental assets to a rebel entity that is not democratically elected and therefore not necessarily representative of the people of that country. we don't know. in addition, a senior nato official told cnn on june 9 that gaddafi was a legitimate target of the bombing campaign. even though it was expressed as a nato position, are we now to understand that the obama administration is sanctioning the killing of foreign leaders, again, pursuant to what international criteria or legal justifation? mr. speaker, again, i call on my colleagues to vote down this resolution that is offered in h.j.res. 68. and i eld back to the
distinguished the gentlelady. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. who seeks time? the gentleman from california. mr. berman: yes, mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield a minute to the gentleman from new york, a member of the foreign affairs committee, mr. meeks. thspeaker pro tempore: the gentman from new york is recognized for one minute. mr. meeks: thank you, mr. speaker. today i say that we have an opportunity. the camera of history is rolling. it's watching what we do today. we can authorize the president to continue the limited use of the united states' services working in conjunction with nato today. today, we can show that we're united with our allies. think about what history will have 50 years from now. we have an individual who was going to massacre his individuals, and by us stepping in, working in conjunction with our nato allies, we are saving thousands of lives. what would have taken place? historically if we allowed the
annihilation of the libyan people? let's stick together on this. let's look at ho this -- how we're together. from its inception this has been an international initiative to enforce u.n. resolution 1973 and the response of the request of libya's transitional national council, the gulf cooperation council and the arab leae. president obama deployed u.s. assets early, said he will continue just what we have our special asset and then have no troops on the ground. is transitional government. let's work together. let's pa this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. does the gentleman from california -- mr. berman: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield a minute of time to e gentleman from virginia, mr. moran. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for one minute. mr. moran: mr. speaker, we were asked to come into libya by the
libyans, by the arab league, by the gulf cooperation council, by the european union and by the united nations security council. today we are standing with those who believe in freedom, in human rights and in the rule of law. but also today as we debate thisssue, muammar gaddafi's forces continue their merciful assault on combatants. in cities throughout central libya. the libyan transitional national council, which needs our support, is grossly short of weaponry, money, training, but they are the boots on the ground fighting -- dying to dislodge gaddafi who is a bad guy. we need be on the other side, not giving a comfort to gaddafi so that he can thank us for the resolution and this vote. we need to make clear, we don't support him. we do support people who are
fighting for the same values that detype our country. 30 years ago people were killed just this week. the cutoff of operation and funding for the nato operation is to aside with gaddafi against the forces who are fighting for those values which define us. you know, the idea we haven't been -- this hasn't been explained sufficiently by the president, we have minds of our own. we know the facts. we can make a judgment, the right judgment is to side with the president and to continue this until america shows that it's true to its own values and principles. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. berman: could you provide us the amount of time remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california has five minutes remaining. the gentlelady from florida has three nutes remaining. mr. berman: i yield a minute to the ntleman from vermont. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from vermont is
recognized for one minute. mr. welch: i thank the gentleman. there are two issues before congress. one is the reassertion of its responsibility under article 1 in the war powers act. number two is a decision on the limited use of for for humanitarian mission in libya. the hastings resolution accomplishes both. it reasserts our authority under article 1 and the war powers act. number two, it says, yes, we do support limited intervention with a role for the u.s. in saving lives in libya. that mission is necessary to avert a humanitarian disaster. two, the mission has broad international support, including from the arab league. three, the u.s. role is limited in scope. no boots on the ground. and, finally, we are by acting asserting our respsibility under the war powers act in our -- and our responsibility under article 1. i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: who seeks time? the gentleman from california. mr. berman: mr. speaker, 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: sir, i reserve the right to close, mr. speaker. so i will hold until the- until they're done and then i will reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. bedroom interim is the gentlelady saying she has no other --nterim interim is the gentlelady saying she has no other -- mr. berman: is the gentlelady saying she has no other speakers? we have members who want to speak who are not yet on the floor. ms. ros-lehtinen: so sorry but -- not my problem. mr. berman: on whose time is this diague? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california seek time? mr. berman: i think in this case
i will yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. for four minutes. mr. berman: mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. berman: mr. speaker, i yield myself one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. berman: mr. speaker, we're 90 days into this operation and the majority is bringing up this resolution in order to embarrass the white house. let's just call it for what it is. they know it will fail. they want to continue to play games with u.s. national security.
let's be honest about what's happening here. the republican leadership allowed this resolution to come to the floor for one reason and one reason only, they know it will fail and they think its defeat will be a political defeat for the white house. if that type of trifling and toying with national security appeals to them, so be it. mr. speaker, i think our commitments to nato and -- i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady froflorida reserves her time. does the gentleman from california seek time? ms. ros-lehtinen: there is additional time if i could tell my good friend. if the gentleman would yield, there is additional time on this resolution immediately following ours with armed services. so if there are any folks who
come in later, perhaps they could speak during that time. mr. berman: in that case -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. berman: all right. so i yield myself the remainder of our time. the speaker pro tempore: t gentleman has three minutes remaining. mr. berman: mr. speaker, i think our commitments to no and the humanitarian crisis that created the nato operation in libya are o important to be exploited for cynical political purposes. in my view the perfect authorization would have been a six-month authorization for a limited purpose with a limitation on that authorization with respect to a position the house has stood for the entire time, as has the president and that is no boots on the ground. but the republicans didn't give this side the choice of the resolution for authorization, they told us what the resolution
for authorization would be and that's a very unfortunate kind of a situation. so we will go through this procs and perhaps at the end of the day, after this resolution fails, we will get another letter to the house of representatives, sent to the speaker, thanking us from lonel gaddafi for once again demonstrating that we want to send a message that he is going to prevail in this conflict. and when that happens what do we think the dictator of syria is going to think? faced with a choice of change or quitting he will hear the ssage, the way to survive, the way to hold on for power is for him to continue to kl his own people without the rest of the world doing anything. there are critical alliances at
stake, there a critical interests at stake, the national security question is far beyond simply what is going to happen in libya but in its neighbors, egypt and to you initialia, throughout the middle east -- tunisia, throughout the middle east and throughout the entire world, the message of trying to say that we're going to pull the plug on this particular operation and we could spend time talking about the way the administration has handled it but right now we have a choice, to pull the plug on this baby or to let it play out in a limited and responsible fashion to achieve our goals and send a message that the civilized world is not going to stand for this kind of mr. barrow:ity and brutality. i urge -- kind of brutality and and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so
much, mr. speaker. to wrap up on our side, i'm proud and pleased to yield the remaining time, three minutes, to the gentleman from arkansas, mr. griffin, a member of both the committees on foreign affairs and armed services. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arkansas is recognized for three minutes. mr. griffin: thank you. i rise in opposition to house joint resolution 68 which authorizes the president to continue military operations in libya. i appreciate all the policy arguments that i have heard here today, but the question for me is, is it illegal or not? if it's a estion of law, then all of the arguments about making this group mad or not being a good ally, etc., those are very persuasive, but those are not legal arguments. thosdon't change whether the actions in libya are constitutional or legal. those are policy arguments. the president continues to be in violation of the war powers resolution which requires
congressional approval for military action within 60 days of the initial use of our armed forces. that deadlinexpired long ago. the president continues to involve the u.s. military in this illegal conflict and has continually ignored requests to gain congressional approval. what's so hard, mr. president, about comingo the house and consulting with the congress? what's so hard about that? the other presidents who may have their doubts about the constitutionality of the war powers resolution have still gone through the process to respect the people that are represented by this body. reportedly theresident ignored advice from his top lawyers at the pentagon and the justice department who said that he no longer had the legal authority to continue military action without congressional authorization.
furthermore, this is not a legal argument but i think it' relevant, we're broke. the price tag of the military action in libya has already cost the u.s. government over $750 million. this resolution would authorize the president to continue military action in libya for up to a year. that could result in billions of dollars of funding by the american taxpayer that we just can't afford. we cannot spend precious taxpayer funds to support this military action while the president flouts the law and constitution. thank you, mr. saker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair will remind the members to direct their comments to the chair. the gentlelady from -- ms. ros-lehtinen: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. all time has expired.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. dreier: mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to the bill and yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentman is recognized. mr. mckeon: mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to this bill and yield myself such time as i may consume. the president's initial justification for our military intervention in libya was that it was necessary to prevent the massacre of libyan civilians by government forces in ben gazzy
and that this would be strictly a humanitarian mission. as i noted back in march, deploying american warriors to protect civilians from a brutal dictater is a noble cause. yet i also express my reservations at the time because i feared that the mission could result in a protracted stalemate. although the president promised the american people that our involvement would be limited, a matter of weeks, not months, we find ourselves past the three-month mark with no end in sight. this bill would authorize operations for up to a year. we're currently engaged in a war that is vital to our national security. in afghanistan we're fighting extremists who sheltered the terrorist organization that killed 3,000 americans on september 11, and would again provide them with a sanctuary if given the chance. we're in the process of consolidating our victory in iraq and still have 50,000
troops there in harm's way. indeed a clear strategic vision is required to make any military intervention successful. since this operation began, the connection between strategic ends and operational means has been lking. consequently unless the nato mission departs from its initial mandate, it appears that our only recourse is thold that gaddafi ll voluntarily leave his country. i cannot support a long-term commitment of u.s. forces to hostilities when success is based on hope. furthermore, the president failed to seek congressional authorization for this operation on the flimsiest of legal rationale. it's not appropriate for this body to cover his laps with a blanket altogether zsh lapse with a blanket authorization. i therefore -- lapse with a blanket authorization. i therefore encourage my colleagues to vote no and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman reserveshe balance of his time. the gentleman from washington. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. >> thank you. i rise in support of this resolution. this is congress exercising its authority as is appropriate. mr. smith: and i agree with the people who say that congress should do this and i just wish we would understand that congress has a certain responsibility in that regard. yes, the president should have asked us but it's been over three months and this house has chosen not to act until now. i think it's appropriate that we are, i think we shou authorize this mission in libya and strongly support that mission. like most americans, when this issue first came up, when the people in libya started rising up against their oppressive dictator, i was very reluctant about the idea of u.s. military involvement, as i think we always should be. i think in the past we have been too overanxious to use the u.s. military in places where it was not a good fit. we need to think carefully about this. and in every instance we need to strike a balance. on the one hand, what is the sitive impact that our involvement could have? and on the other hand, what are the risks of that involvement?
and i think there was a unique set of circumstances in libya that made this make sense. first of all, our involvement could have a very positive impact. we had international support, the u.n., na, the arab league, everybody in the world wante gaddafi to be stopped from slautering the civilians who were rightfully standing up and asking for the basic rights that we take for granted in this country. and in addition to that our military, our military budget is roughly equivalent to the entire rest of the world's combined. that gives us a unique set of capabilities. that set of capabilities was critical to stopping gaddafi from crushing, again, the legitimate democratic aspirations of the libyan people. if we had not acted they would be crushed, many more civilians would be dead and gaddafi would be back in power. we cannot walk away from that responsibility and say, yes, we don't like gaddafi, we wh the people there would do well, we
simple low don't want to support the action that is necessary to give them that opportunity. in this case i think the mission did make sense for that reason. the united states is in a position to make a difference and stand up for people who were asking for legitimate rights. the broader question is, what does that have to do with the united states? that may be true but true in a lot of countries. the reason this is so important is because of the broader movement that's going on, the so-called arab spring. people in muslim countries rising up, demanding representative rights. that has an incredible impact on us. the greatest threat we face right now is from al qaeda and their ideology. that ideology arose in part because of a whole bunch of repressive governments across the muslim world that weren't providing for their people. a number of oppressive governments, by the way, which the united states in the past has supported. we have the opportunity to do the opposite, to stand up for muslim people. let me tell you in the history of this country i don't think we've ever gotten as much positi press in the muslim tv
stations and muslim media as we got for standing up to gaddafi. this has bee enormously helpful to us in that broader ideological effort. we have national security interests for standing up. now as a house i don't want to stand up and say we are going to back down from that commitment that we made. make no mistake about it, if we defeat this resolution and pass the rooney resolution, we will stop the mission in libya and empower muammar gadoofy, something i know nobody -- gaddafi, something i know nobody wants to do. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from indiana, mr. burton. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana is recognized for three minutes. mr. burton: i thank the gentleman from -- i thank the gentleman for yiding. i heard a number of people say,
well, the constitution does give the president latitude, but during the nixon administration, congress passed the war powers act. and then when the president vetoed it, congress overrode his veto, and so the war powers act became law. now, whether or not you believe it's constitutional, it has never been tested in the courts. and so it's the law. and the law says, as well as the constitution -- at least this is what most people who looked at the constitution believes is what it stands for -- the constitution and the war powers act says the president cannot do what he did without the support and approval of congress. now, he's gotten us into the war in libya, and it is in effect our war. people say, well, no, it's nato. well, we are providing over
8,000 of the military personl on t ships and in the air. the majority flights taking place where they are doing the bombing are done by our airmen and our aircraft. over 90% of the missiles that are being used at over $1 million per copy are american missiles. and this is going to cost billions of dollars. if this were to pass and we were to stay there for over a year, you could count ont costing $2 billion or $3 billion. now my colleague from arkansas a few moments ago talked about us being broke. the american people know if congress doesn't we're $1.4 trillion, $1.5 trillion short this year and we're $14 trillion in debt. we're printing money that our ds are going to have to deal with because they are going to have to pay for the debt down the road. some of us will pay for it if we live long enough. certainly our kids will have to pay for the debt.
so we're adding to the debt by going into a war we shouldn't be in and without the approval the congress in accordance with the war powers act of the constitution. now, my big concern is -- and i'm going to talk on the other bill tt's coming up later on -- my big concern is not just libya. my big concern is this president, unless we send a very strong message to him, may take us into syria. there's humanitarian problems in syria right now, and the reason they went into libya they said was because of the humanitarian problems. he talked to the french, the english, the nato, united nations and the arab league for about two weeks before we went into libya, but he didn't have time to talk to the congress who appropriates the money and authorizes this stuff. he's the commander in chief once we go to war, but he needs the authority from congress to go into it and he didn't do it. so there are a lot of wars of opportunity. the president could go into
syria. key go to the ivory coast. may i have one more minute? mr. mckeon: i yield the gentleman an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. burton: there are a lot of places to go to war if we choose to do it. there are humanitarian problems around the war, but unless it's a threat to the united states orn attack to the united states, the president does not have the authority to do what he did without the support and approval of congress. president bush came to congress before he went into iraq. president bush came to congress before he went into afghanistan. and that's as it should be. and this president should not overstep his boundaries. and what i wish we would do which would exceed the legislation we're going to be talking about today is to pass legislatioto cut off all funds for libya. now -- i know it would not pass the senate. it would send a signal to the president and the white house that we won't allow m to go into war without the american
people and without the approval of congress. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i now yield three minutes to the distinguished minority whip, the gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for three minutes. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. the previous speaker deludes himself and 's my friend, if he thinks the message we send today goes only to the president. the message will gto all over the world. the message will go to muammar gaddafi. the message will go to our nato allies. the message will go to every nation of the world that america does not keep fait with his allies. america must lead. we must not equivocate. such a course would encourage the enemies of peace, the bullies of the world, people around the world look to our country's strength in their struggle for democracy and basic human rights. as it happens, i said that in
1999 when clinton sent troops to stop the genocide in bosnia and he did so, and the authorization lost on this floor shamefully 213-213. one of the darkest days i have served in this institution. let us not repeat that mistake. let us not repeat that message to our nato allies, to our european allies, to all the world that america cannot be counted on. at the same time congress was voting to undermine their mission as they flew to kosovo. in recent months people across the middle east have bravely stood to demand that their government respect their fundamental rights. i have stood with the gentleman from indiana on half of human rights around the world. the libyan people who have been subject to the dictatorship of
muammar gaddafi has more blood on his hands of american bloods on his hands than any other person than osama bin laden in the last three decades. we're among those who insisted that enough was enough. gaddafi responded by unleashing widespread violence and threatening countless lives, publicly promising to go door to door and kill those who stood against him. in response to this threat against gaddafi against those civilian people, the european union, the arab league, united nations security council and a unanimous nato called for action to protect libyan civilians. the united states is participating in this action both in order to prevent brutal attacks against civilians and in order to stand by our allies.
president obama has made clear from the beginning that our allies needed to take the leading role in libya. we can't do it all, but at does not mean we can't support those who choose and take the responsibility of leading. nato has done that and to this point the campaign against gaddafi has proven successful. his exports of oil have ceased. he's running short on funds. cabinet and military oicials continue to -- from his regime. china has just hosted the opposition in china and they control eastern libya and is making progress in the wes i believe that the wrong decision today will significantly compromise that progress. gaddafi wrote us a letter in the last debate some weeks ago and thaad the house of representatives for its debate -- and thanked the house of representatives for its debate. is that the message we want to send to gaddafi? i think not. it would stop the growing movements of democratization
across the middle east and across the world and it would severely undermine our nato alliance as we all know. ife want our allies to stand by us in our time of need in afghanistan we have to stand by them in places like libya. we're either in an alliance or we're not. i do believe that president obama could and should have done a better job of consulting with congress at the outset of hostilities, and i do believe we are involved in hos -- hostilities. but i believe we must, we must as a faithful ally and defender of freedom defeat the rooney resolution and support the hastings resolution. america ought to do no less, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: mr. speaker, i yield 1 1/2 minutes to my friend and colleague, a memb of the committee on armed services, the gentleman from
florida, mr. west. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. west: i thank you for yielding. the war powers act of 1973 states the president can send u.s. armed forces into action abroad only by authorization of congress or in case of a national emergency created by an attack upon the united states, its territories or possessions or its armed foes. so as we look at the mission or the perceived mission that we have in libya, it does not even meet this criteria. i stand here today as someone who has been set forth on these shores in the 22 years that i served in the united states army, i stand here as the son of a man who left these shores to go defend this great country in world war ii. i stand here as a younger brother of a man who left these shores to go defend this country and fight in vietnam. and i stand here today as the nephew of a young man, a captain who has already done
two tours of duty in afghanistan. many of my friends have called me. some call me as colonel. some call me as allen and say, we need you to do one simple thing. understand that the oath they take is to support and defend the constitution, to support and defend the laws of this country. they need us to stand up and be the guardians of the laws of this country. just before i came here today, i promoted jerry lee stern to be aajor and i read him that oath of office that he would greatly take what weust do now as this body, as legislators of this great nation is uphold the laws and not send our men and women into undefined and unspecified mission. they want to fight. they want to stand up for us. let's do the right thing by th, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to the gentleman from tennessee, mr. cohen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is
recognized for one minute. mr. cohen: thank you. i appreciate the time. i'm going to vote for the hastings resolution and against the rooney resolution for one person in particular. three words. jane ann mgan. a high school friend of mine in pasadena, california, who was on pan am flight 103. she and 177 other americans lost their lives 23 years ago and we should not forget them. gaddafi was osama bin laden before there was osama bin laden. and we cannot stop until he is out of power and the 178 americans who died and the soldiers w died in the berlin discos's lives are remembered. i support the resolution and vote in thinking of jane ann morgan today. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: just for the record, mr. speaker, the original mission was not to get gaddafi. the original mission, as explained by the president, was to help for humanitarian purposes those civilians that
gaddafi was threatening. at this time, mr. speaker, i yield one minute to my friend and colleague, the gentleman from ohio, mr.ucinich. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for one minute. mr. kucinich: i want to thank the gentleman and associate myself with his remarks ght now. we were told this is about protecting civilians. is has become a cover for regime change. just because we can change a regime with military power doesn't mean we should do it and using military action doesn't mean that you're going to achieve the objectives that maybe you haven't even clearly defined. furthermore, if our allies make a mistake, do we follow them? if our allies are going out of the war, why should we go in? right now you have china's foreign minister saying, we hope the two parts in the conflict can attach imptance to the country and the people's interests and ernestly consider the international community's relevant resolution plans, quickly cease hostilities and resolve the crisis through
political challenges. the outgoing head of the arab league said this two days ago, now is the time to do whatever you can to reach a political solution. that h to start with a genuine ceasefire under international supervision. the president of south africa said a few days ago that this about regime change, political assassination and foreign military occupation. vote against this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i thank you, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to the gentleman from california, mr. sherman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recogniz for one minute. mr. sherman: i have said that i would vote for a resolution granting authority to the president if it was appropriately limited in conditions. i would like to see conditions that require the benghazi government to remove from their midst the al qaeda fighters and the islamic libyan fighters group. i would like to see the conditions that we usehe gaddafi money that we seized, some $30 billion, rather than taxpayer money.
but put those conditions aside. the one thing we almost all agree on is that we want to -- that we would want to limit this to air forces and perhaps a ground rescue mission if necessary. that's not what this resolution does. section 1 grants authority to the president to do whatever he decides to do including armor divisions on the ground in support of the nato mission. don't be fooled by section 2 which provides the president with nonbinding, unsolicited advice that we think that we should limit our ground operations to rescue missions and diplomatic security. this is a grant of authority to the president to put armored divisions on the ground if that's what he chooses to do. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from whington. mr. smith: thank you, mr.
speaker. i will yield my final minute in a moment. consistent with the policy in here it says congress does not support deploying, establishing or maintaining the presence of members of the united states armed forces on the groupped in libya. the relution -- ground in libya. it clearly prohibits ground forces. with that i yield my final minute to the gentleman from iowa, mr. king. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from iowa is recognized for one minute. mr. king: i thank the gentleman for yielding. and i would start out first to associate myself with the remarks of the gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer, who i think laid this out clearly. this is a message that goes globally, this is a destiny message. the speaker of this house understands his role, he understands that all of america is watching us today and even though if i'd had a vote i would have said no, don't go into libya, if i had an opportunity to amend this resolution i would say, let's extend the authorization or let's limit the authorization to a shorter period of time so that the president can come do what he should do. but i believe that there are scores of americans in their
graves today because this congress sent the wrong message in several conflicts that encouraged our enemy, the object of war is to destroy the minute's will and ability to conduct r. and i would shorten that up to say, if you can destroy their will it doesn't matter what their ability is, you've taken their ability with it. but this message, it encourages our enemy, this resolution says that congress stands with the constitutional authority of the president to be commander in chief and to conduct our foreign policy. we should conduct our disagreeme with the president domestically, not in our foreign policy and not by limiting an activity that could abrogate our nato treaty. i appreciate the gentleman yielding and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: might i ask how much time is remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman haone minute remaining and the gentleman from washington's time has expired. mr. mckeon: mr. speaker, i again urge my colleagues to op
>> it funding measure would have barred grow attacks but allowed the u.s. to continue attacks. this debate on the measure is one hour and 15 minutes. mr. rooney: mr. speaker, on march 19 of this year the president sent us into kinetic military activity or war in libya. within 48 hours the president notified the congress in accordance with the war powers act of his decision to do so. for 60 days the president under the war powers act had the opportunity and chose not to come to this body and make the case as to why being in libya was important. on the 60th day he wrote a letter to this body saying that
he would welcome authorization but he's not asking for it. time and time again on the armed services committee we were presented with speakers from the administration who would give certain updates on varus matters to which i would ask yo are you here to -- i would ask, are you here to ask authsization and the witnesses would say no. -- authorization and the witnesses would say no. after 90 days and the president has not seized activity or hostilities in little bit -- ceased activity or hostilities in libya, the time has come and gone and we've sent our indication over to the administration time and time again that we disapprove. but because the war powers resolution by some either in the republican or in the democrat or in the house or the senate is questionable whether or not they consider it constitutional or not, the president has operated in what we now know is called the zone of twilight as to whether or not he even needsur approval. so what are we left with?
mr. speaker, we're left with today our option under our ability under the power of the purse to restrict funds from ongoing operations in libya. without it and without the supreme court weighing in on whether or not the war powers is unconstitutional, in my opinion the prident is breaking the law but he i being restricted by nobody and being able to continue unfettered. some have said that the war powers resolution isn't worth the paper that it's written on. to that i say, based on what supreme court decision? based on what precedent? there is none because the courts haven't weighed in on it. i know some of my colleagues here have a pending case before the court and i wish them well. but what if they don't accept the case? what if they say these members, as they have said before, don't have standing? then we're right back to square one.
mr. speaker, today we have the opportunity to send a message to the executive branch and this transcends party, but it exerts our power under the separation of powers to say we, the house of representatives, are relevant, we the house of representatives are exercising our ability that the founding fathers gave us in the ability to declare war, because they wanted us to have this deliberation, this debate that we'rhavi here today, arguments that have been made on both sides that have been very good. because the last thing that we want as americans is for some president, whether it's this president or some future president, to be able to pick fights around the world without any debate from another branch of government. it's the most difficult thing we have to do as government officials and that's send our kids into harm's way. it has to be a long debate and the president had 60 days and chose not to engage inhat
debate. so here we are today saying, if you chouse not to come here and get altogether -- choose not to come here and geauthorization, we are going to stop it til you do. the president always has the ability in the future to come and try to get authorization for what he's doing in libya or anywhere else. so, mr. speaker, i rise in support of my bill to withdraw funding from future engagement in libya and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. smith: thank you. the bottom line with this resolution, and i think the gentleman made a lot of very fair points, i certainly think that the white house could have handled it better in terms of communicating with congress, but what this resolution would do that he has presented would be to end our mission in libya. so all of the debates and arguments that you heard from
the previous discussion apply to this just as well. it has some limited options in terms of what the president could continue to do in support of nato, but it very specifically disallows any effort at air support, any effort at suppressing opposition fire. it does allow for aerial refueling, it allows for rescue missions, but what the military has made clear is they will not do that without all of the other assets that are necessary to suppress enemy fire, enemy fire. we are not going to send off our aerial refueling apparatus if we know we can't protect them from being shot down. so the effect of this resolution is to again end the mission in libya and people have different opinions about where they should come down on. that i don't bieve we should end the mission in libya -- on. that i don't believe we should end the mission in libya. i do believe that congress' voice should be heard on this issue. that's why i supported the previous resolution that would
have authorized that. i don't think we should stop what we're doing in libya and getting back to the previous debate, there have been some comments that have been made that i want to be sure and correct. i think we have a much better idea of who the forces in libya fighting against muammar gaddafi are than has been said and we know this because they control roughly half the country right now. what our mission was able to do is stop muammar gaddafi from being able to crush the folks who are rising up against him and retake the territory that they have. so in benghazi and in most of i think it's eastern libya, it is controlled by these opposition forces. and byll accounts they are running a very sensible government. it is not an islamic state, it does not have al qaeda fluence, it has a bunch of people w are simply trying to exercise free expression that they have been denied for nearly 40 years by muammar gaddafi. we have a very good idea who these people are. they are precisely the type of people that the united states of
america should be supporting. and as i mentioned before, in our great struggle against al qaeda, one of the centerpieces of it is ideological. the ideology that bin laden and many others advance is very antiwestern and their biggest government is that the west has consistently supported governments that have repressed the muslim people. that we have not been good for them. and there are at least one or two instances when that argument actually has some facts to back it up. and now we are presented with a chance to support a legitimate group of people who want basically what we have, democracy. they want the ability to vote for their representatives, the want a voice in their government and we are going to pull the rug out from under them. and keep in mind, this is a very limited mission. it is nato-led, but we are offering critical support to make it possible. and if we vote for the rooney resolution, we will pull all of that away and right at the
moment, in fact there was a newspaper story this morning about how gaddafi is talking about leaving tripoli because the pressure is getting too great on him, we have had continual members of the libyan government abandoning gaddafi, he is ready to fall and those voices of libyan people who want the very freeds that we all say we want for them are ready to rise and we are going to reverse that by pulling out this minimal level of support that we are offering. that is the effect of the rooney resolution and therefore i oppose it and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. rooney: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to my friend from texas, mr. mccaul. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. mccaul: i thank the gentleman from florida for yielding time and commend him for this legislation. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of this bill and in defense of the constitution. the founding fathers clearly intended for congress to have the power to commit this nation into armed conflict.
article 1, section 8 of the constitution states that congress shall have the power to declare war. our first commander in chief, george washington, knew that when he said the constitution vets the power of declaring war in congress, therefore no offensive expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they have deliberated upon the subject and authored such a measure. that is exactly what this bill is about. and president obama, when he was a senator, knew this when he said that the president does not have the power under the constitution to authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation. he went on further to say that no law can give congress a backbone iit refuses to stand up as a co-equal branch the constitution made it. i couldn't agree more with him. but unfortunately as president mr. obama appears to no longer agree with his prior interpretation of the constitution.
and in reviewing the war powers act, we can argue that it is unconstitutional. but that is for the supreme court to decide. in applying the war powers act to the facts here in this case it is clear that the president failed to comply with the requirements to get congressional approval. and when we examine the merits of the case for involvement in libya, this administration has wholly failed to define a clear national interest, mission or goal. why are we there? are we there to kill gaddafi? or to provide humanitarian aid? and since when does humanitarian aid come from a missile launch from a predator drone? and who are these rebels that we are supporting? the administration has failed to provide congress with a clear answer to this question. . we do know some are tied to terrorist organizations. the bill introduced by my good friend from florida, mr. rooney, reasserts congress' role as a
co-equal branch of government and sends a clear message to the president that he must get congressional approval before he commits this nation to war. as he stated when he was in the united states senate. with that, mr. speaker, i urge a yes vote on this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield three minutes to the gentlelady from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlady from texas is recognized for three minutes. ms. jackson lee: let me thank mr. smith and let me thank him for his leadership and for characterizing where we are today as a conflicted and, if you will, highly uncerta posture. i'm looking at the vote count and it looks as if 225
republicans voted against a time certain to get out of libya. if you read the resolution, h.r. 2278, and i'm looking over and over again, there really is no print as to a time certain. there is a nebulous statement about limiting funds for such things as search and rescue, intelligence surveillance and reconnaissance, aerial funding, and operational planning. th can go on ad infinitum. we can take the american people's money forever and ever and continue in this effort. i don't like where we are tay. actually it is true, it is congress' right to deare war and the war powers resolution which my good friends on the other side of the aisle are now debating on this constitutionality, and of course they used it in the past, does indicate that it was done in order to track the constitution
and allow congressional consultation. there was a letter sent by the president. there has been a report sent, but there's no doubt that this was not handled right. but in the iraq war, an unnecessary war, no arab league states asked us to join with them. there was no defined threat to the united states in the iraq war as we said. we left the afghanistan war to dilly-dally in iraq and lose 4,000 soldiers. so where is the lack of hypocrisy here? right now the arab league has asked us to join them. right now our nato allies are engaged in trying to get rid of an oppressive abuser and a person who has killed his own people. where is the dignity on this place? it's nothing but polics. and i respect my colleagues who want to make choices about which direction they want to go. but i will tell you i'd much rather have to be able to vote
for something that is time certain, ending in one year and before, and if there is not a definitive end, then i will offer a briffed resolution to get out of libya, but i don't want to abandon my friends in the arab states who are now struggling for democracy. why is syria different? why is yemen different? wh is bahrain different? you are absolutely right because other forces are engaged in syria, yemen, and bahrain. and the arab states are attempting to negotiate. so i'm not interested in willy-nilly going into all kinds of wars. i'm not interested in gng there but i am interested in being consistent. we now have an operation and we can tell that there is movement by those who are rebels and i'd like my friends to document for me if they have gt a documented presence of al qaeda, then they can tell us that. but right now we have an obligation and we can't play
politics. and this resolution is nothing but politics because it does not end when we are suppod to get out. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from florida. mr. smith: additial 15 seconds. ms. jackson lee: it is a continuous, unending obligation to be able to be in libya. i would much rather have definitive act which is to say that we have no more than a year and i would offer to the white house that we would like reports sooner than that and some of us may wish to go forward with another resolution to move us out. i will not be supporting politics today. i have to support those who are fighting for justice in libya. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from florida. mr. rooney: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. kucinich. mr. kucinich: i would beg to -- prior to the distinguished gentlelady from texas, because there are those of us who oppose this bill in principle an we believe we are fighting for justice as well. i want to state that if you
believe the war should end, then at least believe we should limit it today. that's what mr. rooney does. i oppose this war, it's unconstitutional, it's in violation of statute, and there's a way to end the war, vote for rooney step one and the kucinich-amash amendment which defunds the d.o.d. bill, you can do that when we come back. but to claim that the arab league is somehow asking for us to continue this attack on libya is plain false. the fact of the matter is we have al jazeera reporting that italy's foreign minister and outgoing head of the arab league have called for a halt to hostilities in libya. it was reported that two days ago, the outgoing head of the arab league, said now it's time to do whatever we can to reach a political solution and that has to start with a cease-fire under internationasi