No Congressional Oversight for 'Limited' Military Action?
This President continues to bewilder me with his misguided and dangerous interpretations of existing law. His suggestion today that our role in Libya does not require further Congressional approval simply because he deems it to be "limited" is, on its face, absurd.
The 1973 War Powers Act, clearly defines the ability of Congress to balance Executive Power by defining the length of any military engagement.
The 1973 War Powers Act, requires that, "within sixty calendar days" the President must "terminate any use of United States Armed Forces...unless the Congress" has either "declared war" or "has extended by law such sixty day period." Finally, the act states that military forces "engaged in hostilities outside the territory of the United States...shall be removed by the President if the Congress so directs by concurrent resolution."
Note it did not delineate the size or scope of the military engagement. It is not inferred, implied, or expressly stated, that the President can bypass Congressional oversight because he deems the engagement to be so "limited" in scope that such oversight in unnecessary. The act clearly states, "any use of United States Armed Forces" and does not define any exclusions, conditions, or exceptions, to the ability of Congress to oversee active military engagements.
The suggestion by the President, that Congress's oversight is conditioned upon his approval is not only in violation of the War Powers Act, but the U.S. Constitution. Each branch of government is provided separate and equal powers that "check and balance" the other two branches. The President can exercise his powers as Commander in Chief absent the pre-consent of Congress but cannot act outside its oversight. The power of the people, by way of Congress, to oversee and interfere with the actions of the President are guaranteed and are not subject to the Executive's whims or discretion.
This President has made it his policy to ignore, distort, and bypass, standing law and legal doctrine. Far beyond any President in recent history, this administration is best described as lawless, reckless, and arrogant. Whether disregarding Constitutional precedent by legislating the American people buy health insurance, ignoring the orders of federal courts, or manipulating existing laws to meet his political agenda, Barack Obama has come to epitomize the stereotype of a corrupt politician.
Frank GuttingFrank is a Conservative blogger and founder of www.iteaparty.org