WASHINGTON, June 16 (UPI) -- U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday he may move to cut off funding for military operations in Libya.
"The White House says there are no hostilities taking place, yet we've got drone attacks under way, we're spending $10 million a day, [and] part of the mission is to drop bombs on [Libyan dictator Moammar] Gadhafi's compound. That doesn't pass the straight-face test, in my view, that we're not in the midst of hostilities," Boehner said in response to an Obama administration report claiming the War Powers Resolution does not apply to U.S. participation in NATO-led operations in Libya.
Boehner said the administration report failed to answer his question about whether the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel agrees with the White House's contention that the War Powers Resolution does not apply to the current situation in Libya, The Hill reported. He said he wants an answer by Friday, adding the "ultimate option" is for Congress to exercise its "power of the purse" to defund the U.S. mission.
That threat, however, could prove to be toothless, as any resolution passed by the GOP-led House also would have to pass the Senate, which is still controlled by Democrats.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said the administration's 32-page report should satisfy Congress, adding, "I don't anticipate further elucidation of our legal reasoning because I think it was quite clear."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California said Thursday she agrees with the White House's interpretation of the War Powers Resolution.
"The limited nature of this engagement allows the president to go forward," Pelosi said. "I'm satisfied that the president has the authority he needs to go ahead. If we had boots on the ground, then that's a different story. I don't think they should stop the support that they're giving to NATO to stop the humanitarian disaster."