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WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A group of U.S. senators introduced a resolution on Monday expressing support for American military action in Libya, but it stops short of officially authorizing the action ordered by President Obama in March.
"I support President Obama's decision to commit U.S. forces to the mission in Libya, and I hope this resolution will elicit a broad statement of bipartisan support among my Senate colleagues for our use of force in Libya," said John McCain, one of a group of sponsors that included Republicans and Democrats.
Obama said last week he would support a resolution that would confirm Congress supports the U.S. mission in Libya, after some lawmakers warned the exercise was about to become illegal because it had gone on for more than 60 days without congressional authorization.
The president did not ask Congress to authorize the action, which critics say is demanded by the 1973 War Powers Act.
The White House has indicated it did not view the level of U.S. military involvement in Libya as reaching the threshold that would trigger the War Powers Act.
Lame! Lame and not doing your jobs Mr./Ms. Congressperson.
The Senate last month blocked a vote on a proposal by Rand Paul, a first-term Republican senator and a favorite of the conservative Tea Party movement, to reaffirm the constitutional authority of Congress to declare war.
Paul's amendment quoted then-Senator Obama's words from 2007, when he told the Boston Globe "the president does not have power under the constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the (U.S.) nation."
Separately, the top Republican on the Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar of Indiana, sent a letter to Obama complaining about the "administration's failure to recognize the role of the Congress in matters relating to U.S. involvement in Libya's civil war."
Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, is pushing for a vote to pull U.S. forces out of the Libya operation.