by Javier ManjarresPresident Obama’s violation of the War Powers act of 1973 by not obtaining Congressional approval within 90 days of his authorization of military action in Libya has divided Republican members of Congress and has damaged the unified front that Republicans had displayed towards the Obama administration subsequent to their 2010 election night landslide victory.
Last week, Florida Senator Marco Rubio penned an Op-Ed with fellow Senator Joe Lieberman (I), and sided with ‘moderate’ Republican John McCain in support of the Obama war strategy in Libya. Rubio has received tremendous backlash from constituents for not siding with other members of Congress, including fellow Florida Republican Congressmen Allen West and Steve Southerland, as they both demanded that the President seek Congressional approval before continuing military operations in Libya.
“When the President ignores the People’s House, the President ignores the people,” said Southerland. “Congress has a constitutional obligation to end our unauthorized and fiscally irresponsible mission in Libya without delay and without exception. I am pleased that members of both parties joined me in reaffirming Congress’s constitutional responsibility to authorize war operations by rejecting continued action in Libya. In an overwhelmingly bipartisan voice, Congress sent a message to the Obama Administration that its willful disregard for the Constitution and our burgeoning fiscal crisis will not stand.” -Congressman Steve Southerland
U.S. Senate candidates Col. Mike McCalister and FL Senate President Mike Haridopolos, also weighed in on the controversial and divisive issue and have sided with the Congressmen in opposing further military action without Congressional approval.
Congress can’t seem to make up its mind as to what position it should take vis-a-vis the President’s highly questionable actions, and the Senate is proving to be just as confused- a quagmire if you will that in all probability was anticipated by President Obama. With the lack of a definitive stance on the issue emanating from Congress, it’s safe to say that President Obama will continue to thumb his nose at Americans as well as make it much more likely that future military incursions overseas will occur that do not have the country’s genuine interests at hand.
The President should have sought Congressional approval before the mission, and after breaking with that precedent, should seek approval for the continued engagement in the war, especially in light of the recent vote in the US House “-Mike Haridopolos