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Mr. Speaker, going to war is a big deal. Thats why our forefathers put within the Constitution that when America is to go to war it is Congress that is to lead that charge; that it is Congress to authorize Americas going to war. That has been the law in the Constitution since it was written.
Then came the War Powers resolution, and Congress decided that it would give a little of that constitutional authority to the President for a period of days until he justified his action before Congress. We can argue whether the War Powers resolution is constitutional or not. But in any event, Congress has not led America to war in Libya.
The President has.
The President made that decision.
As James Madison, the author of the Constitution, said in a letter to Thomas Jefferson and I paraphrase it has been the history of peoples that it has been the executive branch that has led a country to war, and thats why our Constitution prevented kings and dictators and even Presidents from leading this country to war. It must be authorized by Congress.
But now we find ourselves in Americas third war in Libya. The President took us to war. Now, on this day, we are being asked to support and justify that war in this resolution. I vote no on this resolution. We have no business in Libya. Even the administration has said it is not in the national security interest of the United States to be in Libya.
So why are we there? We are there because we dont like Muammar Qadhafi. There are a lot of bad guys in the world, and if we start picking them off one at a time we will be at war with most of the world, because most of the world is led by rogue dictators or bad guys. We have no business being in Libya. We have no business justifying this war on the house floor.
It is Congress responsibility to defund any further action in Libya, and that is what we should do. Its unfortunate we dont have that up-or-down vote. I wish we could vote up or down today on that issue and let the House decide if we should be at war in Libya. $700 million has already been spent on the war in Libya. Its hard to figure out where that money came from. I get different answers from different people about where the President got that money. Maybe we should spend that $700 million in the United States, building America rather than blowing up Libya. I think that would be a better use of funds.
We need to take care of America. We shouldnt be involved in somebody elses civil war in Libya. Who are the rebels? Were not sure who they are either. They may be extremists. They may be patriots. They may be of democratic philosophy. We have no idea.
We dont know who the rebels are. They may be worse than Muammar Qadhafi. Now, isnt that a lovely situation if they take control. We replace an oppressive regime with an extremist radical regime, and thats all because we are in a war that was unauthorized by the Congress.
Cut off all funds. Vote against this resolution.
And thats just the way it is.