House Republicans introduce bill to halt US operation in Libya


Washington : Two Republicans in US House of Representatives have introduced a bill which seeks to put an end to US military involvement in Libya unless explicitly authorised by Congress.

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The bill was sponsored by Republicans Timothy Johnson and Justin Amash. It would cut off all funding related to the Pentagon intervention in Libya, Xinhua reported.

The Congressmen contend the administration’s role in the military campaign in Libya is unconstitutional without the blessing of the Congress.

Under the constitution, the legislative branch has the exclusive right to declare war.

“Constitutionally, it is indisputable that Congress must be consulted prior to an act of war unless there is an imminent threat against this country. The President has not done so,” Johnson said.

Secretary of Defence Robert Gates conceded in a Sunday talkshow that Libya did not pose “an actual or imminent threat” to the US before the military campaign against it began.

President Barack Obama said Monday in a speech on Libya that he consulted with “bipartisan leadership of Congress” before ordering military action.

According to the Pentagon, Libyan intervention has cost US taxpayers about $550 million to date, and the costs should hold steady at around $40 million per month from here on.

Around 60 percent of the cost is from munitions, such as the 192 Tomahawk missiles US military fired at $1 to 1.5 million apiece. The rest were used to troops deployment and other combat costs, including additional fuel.