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White House says US can act in Libya without Congress approval

June 16, 2011 - Washington

The White House has said that President Barack Obama does not need Congressional approval for the US to act in Libya.

In a 32-page document, the White House said the president already had legal authority to order forces into Libya.

A Vietnam War-era law states Congress must authorize participation in hostilities longer than 60 days, the BBC reports.

Members of Congress have accused Obama of violating that law since 20 May, when the 60-day deadline ended.

In the report delivered to Congress on Wednesday, the White House argued that US forces involved in the NATO campaign are merely playing a supporting role.

The report further said that US involvement did not match the definition of "hostilities" as described under a 1973 law that constrains the US president's ability to wage military conflict, and therefore, the Obama administration did not need Congressional authority, under the War Powers Resolution.

It is not clear if its 30-page report will satisfy Congressional critics.


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