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Cole Remarks on Libya Resolutions

June 24, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Rep. Tom Cole (OK-04) made the following remarks on the House floor in opposition to H.R. 2278, which would maintain funding for the majority of U.S. operations in Libya while eliminating funding for only limited aspects of U.S. involvement:

"I rise, Mr. Speaker, in reluctant opposition to this resolution. It's well-intentioned, without question. It's meant to limit our involvement in Libya; it's meant to support our allies, and it's meant to rein in a president who, in my opinion, is conducting an illegal and certainly unauthorized war. It does both too little and too much. It does too little, frankly, because even after it's passed, the president will continue essentially to be able to operate as he's been operating for several weeks. And it does too much because it gets us into a situation where we effectively micromanage the military by literally listing what missions they should take.

"The resolution neither holds the president accountable nor ends our involvement in Libya, and it essentially leaves things exactly where they are. Congress should reassert its constitutional authority, Mr. Speaker, by either authorizing the use of military force or ending it. This resolution avoids either course. It postpones a decision and, in doing so, in my view, it erodes the constitutional war-making authority of Congress and enhances an executive branch that is already overreaching. We will appear to do something, and we will actually do nothing. And so for that reason, I reluctantly urge the rejection of the resolution."