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In Advance of President’s Speech, Rep. Kucinich Continues Challenge to White House War Strategy
War Powers Legislation Being Readied
Washington D.C. (May 18, 2011) – Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who will introduce a bill to end the war in Libya based on the War Powers Resolution when Congress returns on May 23, 2011, today made the following statement about the war. Kucinich made the statement ahead of a speech tomorrow by President Obama.
“The President’s speech tomorrow concerning U.S. policy in the Middle East is yet another attempt to stem the loss of support for our role in the war in Libya. He is up against the 60-day War Powers Act countdown from the beginning of U.S. military involvement in Libya.
“Notwithstanding both Constitutional and statutory prohibitions, the President has reportedly asked his advisors to find a suitable legal justification for continuing U.S. aggression in Libya. The price tag of the war - the airstrikes, the pilotless drones, the missiles, the bombs, the advisers and intelligence agents in Libya - is likely to be approaching $1 billion. The war was supposed to last a few days. That was a couple months ago. Support for the war is shrinking, yet the war is expanding, without constitutionally required authorization.
“Next week, the House is expected to vote on the McKeon amendment to the Department of Defense reauthorization. The amendment would expand the ability of our government to wage war anytime, any place against any individual, group of nations, without further express Congressional authority. The amendment would place in the hands of the Department of Defense the ability to decide who we are at war with. It would provide blanket justification for global permanent war. No Congressional oversight or approval -- as required by the Constitution -- would be required.
“It is bad enough we have been led into a war based on lies. It's bad enough we are staying in Iraq and Afghanistan. We are involved in wars over Libya, Pakistan, and Yemen. At home people are being told to sacrifice their own quality of life because our government does not have sufficient resources for health care, education, retirement security and job creation. Yet at the same time we are setting the stage for endless war which will bring ruin and poverty.
“The President must be held to the Constitution. I will invoke the War Powers Act when Congress returns to force a vote on our adventure in Libya and to attempt to bring Congress to a realization of the serious erosion of Constitutional authority, and of the necessity of stopping the war in Libya. Only a political settlement can bring about an end to the violence in Libya.”