House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) isn’t buying the White House’s “Libya War isn’t really a war” explanation of why they’re not in violation of the War Powers Act.
Next week, he says, the House may be prepared to take action to block the administration’s intervention — and one option he’s looking at is cutting off funds.
“[T]he ultimate option is the House in fact — the Congress has the power of the purse,” Boehner told reporters at a Capitol press briefing. “And certainly that is an option as well.”Boehner was unsatisfied by the explanation the White House offered in a report to CongressWednesday, explaining their compliance with the law.
The U.S. involvement in the Libyan conflict has ensued for longer than the statute allows, but the White House argues that its operations there aren’t significant enough to fall under War Power authority.
That conclusion isn’t sitting well with a bipartisan group of administration critics led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) who on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the president for taking military action in Libya without Congressional approval. However, in a Wednesday press conference, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said she’s “satisfied” that Obama has the authority he requires in Libya — though that would change, she noted, if troops were deployed into the country.
“The administration gave its opinion on the War Powers Resolution, but didn’t answer the question in my letter as whether the Office of Legal Counsel agrees with them,” Boehner said. “So I’m looking forward to an answer on this by tomorrow.”
Even that might not be enough, though. With the U.S. participating in drone attacks and spending millions a day in Libya, Boehner said it, “doesn’t pass the straight face test to me that we’re not in the midst of hostilities.”