Today, lawmakers from both parties announced a lawsuit they have launched against the White House. The purpose? To challenge U.S. operations in Libya. This is a rare development, as this is a bi-partisan initiative that targets the executive branch's war powers. ABC News has more:
Reps. Dennis Kucinich and Walter Jones continued their bipartisan quest to end the U.S. military’s participation in the conflict in Libya, filing a lawsuit Tuesday in federal court against President Obama to “challenge the commitment of the United States to war in Libya absent the required constitutional legal authority.”
The lawsuit challenges what the lawmakers see as “the executive branch’s circumvention of Congress and its use of international organizations such as the United Nations and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to authorize the use of military force abroad, in violation of the Constitution.”
“With regard to the war in Libya, we believe that the law was violated. We have asked the courts to move to protect the American people from the results of these illegal policies,” Kucinich said in a statement announcing the suit.
While frustration is growing among lawmakers over the administration's failure to address the ongoing military operation, the White House is preparing to defend U.S. involvement in Libya. According to CNN:
The administration will provide a report to address a June 3 House resolution that raised questions about the president's goal in Libya, how he hopes to achieve that goal, why he has not sought congressional authorization for involving U.S. troops abroad and how much the conflict will ultimately cost, National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said.
Yesterday, House Speaker John Boehner sent a harsh letter to President Obama that listed some congressional demands. In his note, Boehner warned the president that he will be violating the Constitution if he continues operations without Congress' consent. The speaker gave the president until Friday to fully divulge the mission to lawmakers (interestingly, the two are slated to play golf that day with Vice President Joe Biden and Ohio Gov. John Kasich). FOX News Insider has more on the letter and the lawsuit:
This most recent move to challenge the White House in court makes it clear that some members of Congress want immediate answers from the president. Vietor claims that the White House is preparing information that will be delivered to members of Congress sometime today. Vietor also defends the White House, saying that the administration has testified in 10 hearings and has been involved in other conversations covering Libya since the mission first began in March.