Senate Armed Services Committee Ranking Member John McCain (R-AZ) “said Thursday evening that he and a group of negotiators have ‘nailed down’ language on a Libya resolution and are waiting for instructions from leadership on how to proceed,” POLITICO reports.
The measure would serve as a symbolic gesture of support for President Barack Obama’s use of military force in the North African country. Under the War Powers Act, Congress must authorize continued military presence in Libya after a May deadline if American troops are still active there, but it’s unclear if the Senate needs to act.
“We pretty well got the resolution nailed down and now we’re discussing with the leaders whether we need the vote and if so, when,” McCain told a small group of reporters.
McCain’s office confirmed that the current language is a “sense of the Senate” resolution, meaning it would not carry the force of an authorizing measure. Given that Unites States has handed off power to NATO, the White House has argued that congressional authorization would not be required.
With the situation “in Libya in flux, however, it’s likely that the resolution could change by the time Congress returns after Easter.”
Both leadership offices said they would monitor engagement in the Muslim nation and the potential need for a resolution over the break.
“Obviously, the language will reflect changes in the situation,” an aide to McCain said.