White House press secretary Jay Carney declared that on Libya the White House has “consulted Congress every step of the way.” Well, Congress begs to differ.
Congress has been mulling all week over how to give Obama an earful. Unfortunately, some of these proposals would not pass constitutional muster and could put the troops of America’s allies at risk. Now Bloomberg reports that “House Speaker John Boehner moved to head off a resolution seeking an end to U.S. military involvement in Libya by proposing an alternative demanding that President Barack Obama more fully spell out the mission’s purpose.”
According to the press report, “Boehner offered a resolution directing the administration, within two weeks, to describe ‘in detail United States security interests and objectives’ in Libya.” The article added the Boehner told reporters, “The president really does need to step up and help the American people understand why these missions are vital to the national security interests of our country.”
The Speaker’s approach to dealing with the President (who botched engaging with Congress from the start of the Libyan adventure) makes sense. It is certainly appropriate for Congress to speak up. President Obama failed to consult Congress in an appropriately deliberate manner. The President has ill-served Congress, and there is no reason Congress should stand for it. As it responds, Congress should be mindful of its obligations: to uphold the Constitution, act in America’s interests, and not unduly put the lives of American allies at risk. The Speaker appears to have proposed a way to accomplish all three of those goals.