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PA Pols Chastise Obama Over Libya

By Jared Edgerton, Contributing Writer

Every member of PA’s GOP delegation in D.C., along with a few notable Dems, voiced their objection to some of President Obama’s actions against Libya.

Last Friday the House of Representatives passed Resolution 292 chastising President Obama for sending troops to Libya without the approval of Congress, 268 votes to 145 votes.

The Resolution declares, that without the consent on Congress sometime in the next two weeks, President Obama may not “deploy, establish, or maintain the presence of units and members of the United States Armed Forces on the ground in Libya.”

Congress used the Resolution to voice their frustration with the Obama administration for not allowing Congressional debate on intervention.

On March 9th coalition forces, including the United States, bombed Colonel Qaddafi’s forces in Libya, on the 24th the mission was handed over to NATO forces to finish. Despite NATO’s leadership the United States has maintained a strong presence by sending CIA advisors, providing weapons and National Guard members to aid the rebels.

The Pennsylvania delegation comprised 13 of the yes votes and 5 of the no votes for adopting the Resolution. All Republicans and Rep. Jason Altmire voted in favor. Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz did not vote.

In a press release Congressman Tim Murphy explained his support for the resolution stating, “so long as the American military and troops are in action, then the Commander-in-Chief has an obligation to come before Congress to provide an explanation and request authorization for war.”

Congressman Tom Marino, who sits on the Subcommittee on Middle East and South Asia affairs, supports the Resolution for the same reasons as Murphy, citing President Obama not consulting Congress first.

In an interview on Monday Joe Sestak, the Democratic Senate candidate in 2010 and former Congressman, also expressed concern. Sestak, who criticized the mission from the beginning, believes that “no one will win the civil war, [definitely] not the rebels.”

Sestak hammered his position home stating that he does not see how the mission can continue to prevail by being strictly military, advocating that it transition to a “peace and dialogue” approach.

Although the Pennsylvanian House delegation, particularly the Republicans, have been critical of President Obama’s Libya stance, he has found a strong advocate in Pennsylvania’s Senior Senator, Bob Casey Jr.

In March, Casey sent out a press release stating his support for “the action taken by the U.S., our NATO partners and the Arab League to prevent the killing of tens of thousands of Libyan civilians…[and] the expeditious transfer of lead responsibility to NATO and the non-military measures that the administration has taken to sustain pressure on the Libyan regime, such as the freeze of Qaddafi’s assets and international sanctions.”

This week, President Obama showed no sign of backing down, reiterating his position that Qaddafi must go and expressing support for NATO, during a joint press conference with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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