Letter to President Obama Regarding Libya

Congressman Tom McClintock today sent the attached letter to President Obama regarding Libya:

 

The Honorable Barack Obama 
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I have read your letter to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the President pro tempore of the Senate dated March 21, 2011 concerning your order that United States Armed Forces attack the nation of Libya. You cite the authority of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 and your "constitutional authority to conduct U.S. foreign relations and as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive."

The Constitution clearly and unmistakably vests Congress with the sole prerogative "to declare war." Your letter fails to explain how a resolution of the United Nations Security Council is necessary to commit this nation to war but that an act of Congress is not.

The United Nations Participation Act expressly withholds authorization for the President to commit United States Armed Forces to combat in pursuit of United Nations directives without specific Congressional approval. The War Powers Resolution states that the President's power to engage United States Armed Forces in hostilities "shall not be inferred . . .from any treaty heretofore or hereafter ratified unless such treaty is implemented by legislation specifically authorizing the introduction of United States Armed Forces into hostilities..."

The War Powers Resolution unambiguously defines three circumstances under which the President as Commander in Chief may order United States Armed Forces into hostile action: "(1) a declaration of war, (2) specific statutory authorization, or (3) a national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces." Your letter cites none of these conditions.

Nor can the power to order an act of war be inferred from the President's authority as "Commander in Chief and Chief Executive." The Constitution's Framers were explicit on this point. In Federalist 69, Alexander Hamilton draws a sharp distinction between the President's authority as Commander in Chief as "nothing more than the supreme command and direction of the military and naval forces" and the authority of the British king "which extends to the declaring of war and to the raising and regulating of fleets and armies ~ all which, by the Constitution under consideration, would appertain to the legislature."

With all due respect, I can only conclude that your order to United States Armed Forces to attack the nation of Libya on March 19, 2011 is in direct violation of the War Powers Resolution and constitutes a usurpation of Constitutional powers clearly and solely vested in the United States Congress and is accordingly unlawful and unconstitutional.

Sincerely,

Tom McClintock
Member of Congress

 

PDF link


 

Tele-townhall banner 

Latest News

Remarks in Opposition to Authorizing the Arming and Training of FSA (Free Syrian Army)

All of us recognize the threat posed to our nation by the Islamic State. The question before us is whether to arm and train supposedly vetted elements of the Free Syrian Army as a proxy ground force.

Confronting the Islamic State

Contrary to the President's assertions last week, the Islamic State IS Islamic and it IS a state - or at least has all the attributes of a state. It is precisely this combination that makes it so dangerous: a messianic and clearly stated intention to wage jihad on American soil and the resources and equipment to do so.

Lake Tahoe Summit

I want to thank Senator Feinstein for hosting this year's summit and for directing its attention to the threat of catastrophic wildfire, the greatest natural threat facing the Lake Tahoe region.

View more »

Search

Connect with Tom

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • YouTube
  • News Feed

Upcoming Events

Staff Satellite Office Hours

Office staff members are available to assist constituents with problems or concerns at satellite office locations held throughout the district.  Anyone wishing to discuss an issue of federal concern is invited to attend one of these satellite office sessions and speak with a member of staff.  For more information, or to reach staff, please call the district office at 916-786-5560.
  
Staff Satellite Office Hours:
 
Amador County 
 
Jackson
Tuesday, September 23rd
9:30 am-11:30 am
Conference Room D
County Administration Center
810 Court Street
 
Calaveras County
 
San Andreas
Tuesday, September 9th
9:30 am-11:30 am
Calaveras County Water Agency Conference Room
120 Toma Court
 
El Dorado County
 
El Dorado Hills
Wednesday, September 24th
9:00 am-11:00 am
El Dorado Hills Chamber of Commerce
2085 Vine Street, #105
 
Fresno County 
 
Auberry
Thursday, September 25th
12:00 pm-1:30 pm
The Auberry Library
33049 Auberry Rd
 
Madera County 
 
Oakhurst
Thursday, September 11th
11:30 am-1:00 pm
Yosemite Visitor Bureau Conference Room
40637 Highway 41
 
Coarsegold
Thursday, September 4th
3:00 pm-5:00 pm
Yosemite Lakes Park Clubhouse
30250 Yosemite Springs Parkway
 
Mariposa County
 
Mariposa
Tuesday, September 23rd
8:30 am-10:00 am
Mariposa County Library
Conference Room
4978 10th Street
 
Nevada County 
 
Truckee
Thursday, September 18th
10:00 am-11:30 am
Truckee Town Hall
Council Chambers
10183 Truckee Airport Road
 
Placer County
 
Auburn
Wednesday, September 10th 
9:00 am-11:00 am
Auburn City Hall
Room #10
1225 Lincoln Way
 
Lincoln
Wednesday, September 10th 
3:00 pm-5:00 pm
Lincoln City Hall
600 6th Street
 
Rocklin
Tuesday, September 23rd
3:00 pm-5:00 pm
Rocklin City Hall
3970 Rocklin Rd
 
Foresthill
Thursday, September 25th 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Foresthill Veteran’s Memorial Hall
24600 Harrison Street
 
Loomis
Tuesday, September 30th
Loomis Town Hall/Conference Room
10:00 am-12:00 pm
3665 Taylor Road
 
Tuolumne County
 
Sonora
Tuesday, September 9th
1:00 pm-3:00 pm
Small Business Center Conference Room
99 N Washington St
 
  
For further information on staff satellite office hours, please call 916-786-5560.