WASHINGTON (WJZ) — A Maryland congressman is among a group of lawmakers who are filing a lawsuit against President Barack Obama. They say he’s abusing his war powers.
Kelly McPherson has their argument and the response from the president.
A handful of Republican and Democrat leaders say the war in Libya is not constitutional because Congress was never asked if our resources should be used.
As fighting continues in Libya with U.S. support, members of Congress are suing the White House over the war.
“We’re here today to announce the filing in federal court of a lawsuit that challenges the constitutionality of the war in Libya,” said Representative Dennis Kucinich.
“This is not an issue of whether or not we should be there; it’s an issue of how we got there,” said Representative Roscoe Bartlett.
Bartlett says the War Powers Resolution, enacted in 1973, prevents any president from sending American troops into a conflict without permission of Congress.
“This is not the King’s army. The president does not have the constitutional right to use this army anywhere he wishes, any time he wishes,” Bartlett said.
The lawsuit says the war violated the constitution and asks for a judge’s order to suspend military operations.
Just this week, Congress passed a resolution asking for more information about how $750 million has been spent in the Libyan conflict.
The White House responded late Wednesday with letters and documents explaining military operations in Libya and other countries, saying Americans are helping NATO with enforcing the no-fly zone and sending unmanned aircraft for hit-specific targets.
The White House is not backing down.
“The goal of protecting Libyan civilians and holding Colonel Qaddafi accountable will continue,” said Jay Carney, White House spokesperson.
Several representatives involved in this lawsuit were also involved in a lawsuit against President Bill Clinton when he went into Kosovo without asking Congress’ permission. That lawsuit was not successful.
“So now we’re asking the court once again, please intervene and tell the president he does not have the right to use this military without our permission,” Bartlett said.
Other presidents have called the War Power Resolution unconstitutional but still asked for Congressional permission to go into a conflict. Obama didn’t do that and maintains that he didn’t have to.
The White House says it continues to update Congressional leaders about Libya and other international conflicts.