President Obama Returns from South America with Questions to Answer over US Involvement in Libya

                                                  President Barack Obama

Caryn Freeman 1:29PM EST
Now that the president is back in Washington he is facing a barrage of questions from Congress, the media and think tanks all over Washington about the mission in Libya and its outcome. The US has already spent millions of dollars in just over a week on sorties and missile defenses in the war torn country. The president may have overzealously taken on the thrown as defender of global democracy while ignoring his first and primary duty, handling domestic affairs first. Many people both in and outside the Beltway are confused by the president’s actions after a week of vague statements from the White House. Congress wants answers and the administration after having days to prepare should have some.

House speaker John Boehner was incensed last week after being briefed on the mission by the President's aide rather that by the President himself. Some are calling the president's actions impetuous aggravating an already volatile Republican leadership and some House and Senate Democrats as well. “I and many other members of the House of Representatives are troubled that U.S. military resources were committed to war without clearly defining for the American people, the Congress, and our troops what the mission in Libya is and what America’s role is in achieving that mission,” Boehner wrote in a letter to the President this week.
Both republicans and democrats were doing what they could to avoid a government shut down while in the midst of the contentious budget battle but members of Congress feeling snubbed by the President may now let the chips fall where they may on the issue, leaving the President vulnerable and appearing as though he has no ability to lead with a clear mission in a time of crisis.

The Treasury Departments analysis the national debt reveals the debt hit $14.3 trillion reaching the debt ceiling sometime between April 15 and May 31. Senate Republicans have warned that Republican senators would not vote to increase the federal debt limit unless Obama agreed to significant long-term budget savings. Although the president may be seen has a warrior for Democracy around the world. Here at home his lack of communication with Congressional leaders and inability to resolve the budget leaves him vulnerable to critics from all sides.

Congress asks President Obama to Define his Mission in Libya


Caryn Freeman 2:49PM EST
Many members of Congress are in an uproar over the president's use of the war powers resolution to bypass Congress and engage in military action in Libya. On Monday, Obama sent an official letter to Capitol Hill informing Congress of the military actions and invoking his authority under the War Powers law But many members have stated that they feel this is unconstitutional and that the letter did not fulfill the requirement that constitutes the use if the war powers resolution.

Members in both the House and Senate and on both sides of the isle are asking the Administration tough questions about recent action concerning air strikes in Libya. During a Monday press briefing, the president’s national security adviser, Tom Donilon, responded to congressional frustration over the level of consultation this way:  “First of all, consultation with Congress is important, as I said. Secondly, the administration welcomes the support of Congress in whatever form that they want to express that support. Third, as I indicated during the course of the briefing, this is a limited — in terms of scope, duration and task — operation, which does fall in the president’s authorities. Fourth, the circumstances arose with the passage of the United Nations Security Council on Thursday, the night before a congressional recess. So he did, even with that, call Congress — those who remained in town on Friday and those who are out of town — on the phone to consult with them.”

Congresswoman Renee Ellmers (R-NC), a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, agreed that the strikes are appropriate, but called on Obama to explain his plan to Congress. “The violence against the people of Libya by Muammar Qadhafi is unacceptable, and it must end. The United States stands with those who seek freedom in that country and around the world. But we must have a coherent strategy anytime we utilize U.S. military force abroad,” Ellmers said. “Now that President Obama has ordered airstrikes and engaged the U.S. military in Libya, he needs to provide more information to Congress and to the American people.”