Republican Senators Press President on War Powers Act Deadline

Legal Deadline Looms, But Are Enough Senators on Board to Challenge Conflict?

Six Republican Senators have written to President Obama asking for an explanation of what his administration intends to do about the War Powers deadline as it relates to the Libyan War. The War Powers Act requires Congressional approval for a war lasting longer than 60 days, a deadline that will be reached on Friday.

Though administration officials have repeatedly confirmed that the war would continue, the letter mentions that others claimed the president would obey the law. With the deadline so close at hand the senators urged the president to make his intentions clear.

President Obama has likely already run afoul of the War Powers Act in starting the war, as the act only allows presidents to do so with congressional approval or in an “emergency” case where the US was attacked first. Administration officials have admitted that the war isn’t even a vital US interest.

While it seems all but certain that the administration will totally ignore the deadline and allow Friday to come and go without mention, it remains to be seen if there are enough senators concerned about the war to actually raise the issue formally. Sen. John McCain (R – AZ), an enthusiastic support of this and other wars, mocked the notion and claimed that the act “wasn’t constitutional.”

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.