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June 27, 2011

Cardin: Obama should seek authority on Libya

Sen. Benjamin L. Cardin said Monday he believes President Barack Obama erred in not requesting authority from Congress for the ongoing military effort in Libya despite the administration's stance that it does not need that approval.

"First, I disagree with President Obama," the Maryland Democrat, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in an address to the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs. "I believe the war powers have been triggered. I think President Obama should come to Congress for authorization."

The comments, which reflect growing bipartisan concern over the Libya effort, came on the eve of a hearing by the Foreign Relations Committee on legislation that would authorize the U.S. to continue limited operations in the country for one year. Cardin was one of 10 original sponsors of that resolution.

On Friday, the House of Representatives voted against two resolutions on Libya — one that hewed closely to the Senate bill and would have authorized a one-year extension of the U.S. military operation, and another that would have ended funding for that effort. Both resolutions failed on bipartisan votes.

"I'm not sure what the House is doing," Cardin said. "In the Senate, we want to be very clear."

Obama argues that the administration does not need authorization from Congress under the Constitution or the 1973 War Powers Resolution because of the limited scope of the effort in Libya.

Cardin's comments were part of a broader address on human rights and the recent uprisings in the Middle East. He spoke at the World Trade Center in the Inner Harbor.

Days after Obama called for reducing by 33,000 the number of troops in Afghanistan, Cardin suggested the U.S. would be better off directing some of the money spent on that war to domestic programs or deficit reduction. Cardin has called for a faster draw down of forces than the timetable set by the White House.

Cardin also had sharp words for Pakistan, echoing a bipartisan chorus in Congress that has been skeptical of the country's partnership in the wake of the killing of Osama bin Laden. Many lawmakers have balked at Obama's request for $3 billion in additional aid for Pakistan next year.

"I can tell you that the budget process could be pretty brutal on Pakistan this year," Cardin said. "There's anything but an agreement to provide the type of aid to Pakistan in this budget year. It will certainly be conditioned in a much stronger sense."

Posted by John Fritze at 8:00 PM | | Comments (3)
Categories: Washington
        

Comments

""First, I disagree with President Obama," the Maryland Democrat, who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in an address to the Baltimore Council on Foreign Affairs. "I believe the war powers have been triggered. I think President Obama should come to Congress for authorization.""

But as a Senator I have failed to hold the President accountable for his illegal actions which is my duty as a Senator.
Since I believe "I believe the war powers have been triggered" and I have failed to follow my oath of office, I hereby resign my seat in the Senate to someone who will take that oath seriously.

I served in the US Military. Both Cardin and Obama by their actions have seriously endangered our military forces. You DO NOT tell the enemy your withdrawal plan, nor do you question the Commander's decisions. Both are traitorous deeds that dictators akin to Fidel Castro and Hitler would take full advantage of.

So Cardin only believes the President should've requested congressional approval?

Notice that he doesn't disapprove of the war. His loyalties lie in the Levant and not with the people of MD.

American boys have no business in the Middle East, not to drop bombs, not to secure and hold land, and not to be killed, maimed or psychologically destroyed in the process.

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About the bloggers
Annie Linskey covers state politics and government for The Baltimore Sun. Previously, as a City Hall reporter, she wrote about the corruption trial of Mayor Sheila Dixon and kept a close eye on city spending. Originally from Connecticut, Annie has also lived in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where she reported on war crimes tribunals and landmines. She lives in Canton.

John Fritze has covered politics and government at the local, state and federal levels for more than a decade and is now The Baltimore Sun’s Washington correspondent. He previously wrote about Congress for USA TODAY, where he led coverage of the health care overhaul debate and the 2010 election. A native of Albany, N.Y., he currently lives in Montgomery County.

Julie Scharper covers City Hall and Baltimore politics. A native of Baltimore County, she graduated from The Johns Hopkins University in 2001 and spent two years teaching in Honduras before joining The Baltimore Sun. She has followed the Amish community of Nickel Mines, Pa., in the year after a schoolhouse massacre, reported on courts and crime in Anne Arundel County, and chronicled the unique personalities and places of Baltimore City and its surrounding counties.
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