Rooney: House Rebukes President on Libya
For Immediate Release: June 3, 2011
“These votes send a message to the President that the Constitution matters, and Congress is not going to sit idly by while he ignores the rule of law.”
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney (FL-16) today issued the following statement after voting in support of two bipartisan resolutions rebuking the President for ignoring the Constitution and War Powers Resolution with regard to Libya:
“While I’m disappointed that my resolution to uphold the rule of law regarding the use of armed forces in Libya was not brought to a vote, I am encouraged that the House did not approve by acquiescence and abrogate our Constitutional role in the decision to go to war. Today, the House told President Obama that if he wants to fight a war in Libya, he needs to make his case to Congress. These votes send a message to the President that the Constitution matters, and Congress is not going to sit idly by while he ignores the rule of law.
“Neither of these resolutions is perfect. I wish the Boehner resolution included stronger language explicitly stating that the President is in violation of the War Powers Resolution. I would prefer that the Kucinich resolution have a more flexible timetable for withdrawal, and that it give the Administration one last opportunity to make its case for authorization.
“Ultimately, I voted for both resolutions because each represents an improvement over the status quo, in which President Obama continues to ignore the Constitution and dismiss the role of Congress and the people we represent. Congress is the only branch of government with the power to declare war, and we must not cede that authority to the President or an international body like the United Nations.”
Rooney introduced a resolution on April 1 expressing the sense of Congress that the President should abide by the War Powers Resolution and obtain Congressional authorization for military action in Libya within 60 days, and testified before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on May 25 regarding his legislation. He introduced a follow-up resolution on June 1 stating that the President was in violation of War Powers and requiring the withdrawal of troops unless the Administration obtained authorization by June 19.
Rooney, who sits on the House Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, served in the Army JAG Corps and taught Constitutional law at West Point.