The Senate “is calling on the U.N. Human Rights Council to revoke a report that accused Israel of war crimes after the study’s author retracted his conclusions,” the AP reports.
In a unanimous vote late Thursday, the Senate backed a non-binding resolution sponsored by Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and James Risch, R-Idaho, pressing for the council to rescind the report. Richard Goldstone, who wrote the study, has backtracked on his claims.
The Senate resolution also calls on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to address the damage to Israel’s reputation caused by the report.
It’s S.RES. 138.
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.
Senators John Ensign (R-NV) and Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-TX) introduced a resolution today that would “declare that the United States has no vital interest in Libya,” according to a press release.
The resolution does three things: declares that there is no vital U.S.-American interest in Libya; states that Congress has not authorized military power in the region; declares that the NATO allies and Arab nations that do have a vital interest in the region should step up their military and financial contributions. Passage of this resolution by the Senate would express its disapproval of the handling of this intervention and serve as a warning against deeper military involvement in a conflict that does not affect our vital interests.
Senators “probably won’t be debating the Libya war anytime soon,” The Cable reports.
Top senators on both sides of the aisle are still negotiating over language for a resolution to express the Senate’s view on the U.S. involvement in Libya, while the budget battle pushes the intervention to the back burner.
Congress was upset with President Barack Obama last month for committing U.S. forces to the international military intervention in Libya without seeking congressional consent or even really telling Congress about it in advance. But now, almost a month after the attack began, the appetite in the Senate for holding a full-fledged Libya debate on the floor, much less passing a resolution, just isn’t there.
"I don’t know if there will be time" to debate a resolution before senators leave town for a two-week recess next week, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) told The Cable in an interview on Tuesday.
Kerry said he was still working on a resolution with Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) that expresses support for Obama’s policy and that Sen. Carl Levin (D-MA) has also had input. But the three of them just can’t seem to get together on the final language.
"We’ve got the language resolved except for two words," Kerry said. He didn’t say what those two words are, but several senate sources mentioned "regime change."
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Ranking Member Dick Lugar (R-IN) introduced a resolution today “calling on President Obama to report to Congress on the growing military relationship between North Korea and Burma,” according to a press release from his office.
“Greater attention should be focused on the details and scope of military equipment and technology transferred from North Korea to Burma,” Lugar said. “Events in other parts of the world should not detract from obtaining a reality check regarding the elevated military and strategic collaboration between North Korea and Burma”.
Lugar’s resolution also encourages the President to call for an international investigation into allegations of international crimes by Burma’s government; to encourage countries neighboring Burma to establish safe havens for children forced into military service by Burma’s government; and to actively work with other countries for a release of all remaining political prisoners.
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Jim Inhofe (R-OK) have co-sponsored the resolution. Read it here.