Boehner threatens to cut off funds for Libya

The speaker doesn't think that President Obama answered the questions put to him in a House resolution passed 2 weeks ago. In fact, John Boehner has apparently had it with the president's game playing with regards to our Libyan involvement:

The White House says there are no hostilities taking place, yet we've got drone attacks under way, we're spending $10 million a day, [and] part of the mission is to drop bombs on [Libyan dictator Moammar] Gadhafi's compound," Boehner said. "That doesn't pass the straight-face test, in my view, that we're not in the midst of hostilities."

The Speaker said the White House did not answer one of his questions - outlined in a letter he sent this week - as to whether the Office of Legal Counsel, an advisory entity within the Justice Department, agrees with its analysis of the 1973 War Powers Resolution. He said he wanted an answer to that query by Friday.

White House press secretary Jay Carney said that the president "absolutely respects" Congress's desire to be consulted on Libya, but Carney said that the report should suffice.

"I don't anticipate further elucidation of our legal reasoning because I think it was quite clear," Carney said.


The "ultimate option," Boehner said, is that "Congress has the power of the purse" and could cut off funding for the mission. "Certainly that is an option as well," he said.

This would be more symbolic than tangible if the House were to take such a nearly unprecedented step:

Actually forcing the president's hand could be difficult, however, because any House-passed funding restriction would have to pass the Democratic-controlled Senate and be signed by Obama himself. And any Libya-related amendment would likely be attached to an appropriations bill that may not move through the Senate for months.

Still, it would be an embarrassment for the president - and for the US - if the House were to take this route. But it is clear that President Obama has no intention of explaining himself to the House or the American people and will continue to participate in a war - limited hostilities or not - without the authorization of congress.