N.Y. Lawmakers Sound Off On President’s Approach To Libya
NEW YORK (CBS 2) – On Day 3 of the attack on Libya, there were new air strikes and new demands.
On Monday, President Barack Obama called for the replacement of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
American jets fired at least another dozen cruise missiles at targets inside Libya and new video surfaced of Gadhafi’s bombed-out compound.
As CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reports the war is raising concern from local lawmakers.
With his ear to the ground and hearing congressional dissention from thousands of miles away, President Barack Obama used a news conference in Chile on Monday to try to calm the waters.
“We anticipate this transition to take place in a matter of days, not a matter of weeks,” President Obama said.
Though far from home, the president wanted members of Congress to know “message received” — American involvement will not be prolonged.
Members of the president’s own party are worried about that.
“But you always have to worry in these operations about mission creep. We don’t want it to be long. We don’t want it to be expanded. We’re fighting two wars already. We have lots of domestic needs here at home,” Sen. Charles Schumer said.
Many republicans, and even a number of Democrats, were critical of President Obama for launching a military action without asking Congress first. Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich suggested the president be impeached over the constitutionality of the decision to enter Libya militarily. Others were less strident.
“I think it is important that we show that we’re a powerful country who is willing to step in and for those who are not able to protect themselves,” Bronx and Queens Rep. Anthony Weiner said. “I do believe, though, that the president should have and still should come to Congress for authorization.”
Republican Peter King defended the President’s action to attack Libya, but he said the president dithered too long, which hurt America’s image abroad.
“I do think the president showed poor leadership. The president should have been out front. You cannot have a situation like this in such a major part of the world and have the president of the United States sit back and let the European nations be out there.”
Congressman King, who is chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, also said Gadhafi must be taken out to prevent him from using weapons of mass destruction on his people and on others.
Do you think the president made the right decision jumping into the fray without going to Congress first? Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.