Larson cautions White House on use of force in Libya

Rep. John Larson urged President Barack Obama to consult with Congress before taking any military action in Libya. The 1st District Democrat, a strong and early opponent of the Iraq war, said that while he applauded Obama for working with the international community to respond to the government crackdown in Libya, U.S. forces shouldn’t get involved without getting the green light from Congress.

Here’s his statement:

“I commend President Obama for working with the UN and our allies to shape a strong international response to the violence in Libya and hope that Colonel Quadaffi adheres to his warning.   However, I strongly urge him to consult with the Congress before committing U.S. forces in support of the UN Security Council Resolution.

“As Secretary Gates and others have noted, military action is tantamount to an act of war, which would require substantial resources over a long period of time.  Given our current fiscal constraints, and our military’s current responsibilities, this truly deserves a robust debate before we commit our young men and women in uniform.

“If that means calling Members of Congress back from the District work period for a joint session, then that’s what we should do.  It is imperative that Members of Congress, as the direct representatives of our constituents, have the opportunity to weigh in before decisions are made.

“Using our military against another nation, even a brutal regime like Colonel Quadaffi’s, requires that Congress both be informed and exercise our constitutional authority.”