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Congressman Tom McClintock

Representing the 4th District of California

In Opposition to HR 2278 (Libya)

June 24, 2011
Speeches

Congressman Tom McClintock today made the following remarks on the House Floor in opposition to HR 2278 relating to Libya.

 In Opposition to HR 2278

Mr. Speaker:

This bill purports to cut off funding for combat in Libya.  In doing so, it simply forbids what the Constitution already forbids: the waging of war without explicit congressional authorization. 

But then it specifically grants to the President what up until now he has completely lacked:

Congressional authority to engage in every conceivable belligerent act short of actually pulling the trigger:

•        refueling bombers on their way to targets;
•        identifying and selecting targets;
•        guiding munitions to their targets;
•        logistical support;
•        operational planning.

These are all acts of war in direct support of belligerents at war – and this bill authorizes them. 

The House has just considered whether to authorize war with Libya.  It has specifically, categorically and decisively rejected it.  The President is now on notice that he is in direct defiance of Congress.

That is the message we need to send today.  Let’s not enter a war through the back door when we’ve already decided not to enter it through the front.


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