Four powerful “senators of both parties are in talks over whether they need to satisfy the War Powers Act and approve President Barack Obama’s use of force in Libya, a sign that the Senate takes the military action seriously and isn’t eager to cede power to the executive branch,” POLITICO reports.
The staffs of Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin (D-Mich.), Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.), Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz) met Friday to discuss a potential authorizing resolution, two of the senators confirmed Monday to POLITICO.
The senators haven’t agreed on a draft proposal, or even if a resolution is necessary. But with the Hill embroiled in a make-or-break debate over the budget, the ongoing talks underscore the gravity with which lawmakers view engaging the U.S. military in a third Muslim nation.
Obama briefed members of Congress before launching attacks by air and sea on the North African nation, but did not seek their approval. The War Powers Act allows the president to use military force for 60 days without congressional approval, setting a theoretical deadline of May 20 before he must seek the blessing of Congress.
McCain said he “will continue talks with Kerry, Lieberman and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Tuesday.”