Calif. Congressman: Obama Attack On Libya May Be Illegal

SACRAMENTO (CBS) — A California congressman has issued a bipartisan challenge to the White House to clarify the ongoing mission against Libya, with allegations that U.S. involvement without Congressional approval may be illegal and unconstitutional.

Rep. Tom McClintock (R-California) is joining House Speaker John Boehner and other senior lawmakers from both parties in charges that President Barack Obama is guilty of conflicting messages when it comes to the Libya air assault.

McClintock tells KNX 1070 the attack is “in direct violation of the War Powers Act and in direct violation of the United States Constitution, which gives to Congress the sole power to declare war.”

“I think the President crossed a very bright constitutional line that he himself recognized in 2007 when he told the Boston Globe that the president doesn’t have the constitutional authority to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation,” said McClintock.

The Republican lawmaker also referenced remarks from then-Senator Joe Biden in 2007 saying it was an “impeachable offense” to unilaterally order troops to attack Iran without authorization from Congress.

The Obama administration is facing mounting domestic criticism over its decision to join an international coalition aimed at destroying Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s air defenses as analysts estimate the U.S. military is spending upward of $1 billion on the assault

Read the entire letter from Rep. McClintock to the White House on the Congressman’s website.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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