House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) released the following statement regarding the President's actions with respect to Libya and the War Powers Resolution. In a letter earlier this week, the Speaker posed a number of questions to the President about the legal basis for continued military operations in Libya. In a response letter to the Speaker this evening, the President did not provide the additional information the Speaker is seeking:
“The American people and members on both sides of the aisle have concerns about the mission in Libya and questions that have gone unanswered by this White House. While the President responded to some questions earlier this week, it is unfortunate that he specifically chose not to respond to an important question about whether the Office of Legal Counsel supports the White House’s extraordinary legal basis for ongoing military operations in Libya. Despite the constitutional concerns anyone may have with the statute, the War Powers Resolution is the law of the land and cannot be simply ignored. The White House’s suggestion that there are no ‘hostilities’ taking place in Libya defies rational thought. Now, its decision to conceal the opinion of the OLC raises even more concerns.
“From the outset of this operation, members of the House have demonstrated respect for the authority granted to the Commander-in-Chief. Unfortunately, the President has not exhibited a similar appreciation for Congress’ important job of providing oversight and accountability. Even worse, he has failed to communicate to the American people why continuing this mission is critical to our national security. The House of Representatives will not allow the White House to continue skirting its obligations to the American people, this Congress, and the laws of this nation. Over the coming week, our members will review all options available to hold the administration to account.”