Hill panel seeks documents on Libya operations

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers who believe President Obama didn’t properly consult with Congress before launching airstrikes on Libya approved legislation Wednesday seeking Pentagon documents on all communications.

The House Armed Services Committee, beginning a marathon session to craft a $553 billion budget for the Defense Department next year, approved the measure on Libya by voice vote.

Republicans and some Democrats have complained that Mr. Obama failed to properly consult with Congress before approving the military operation to protect civilians from Col. Moammar Gadhafi’s forces in Libya. The administration and some Republican lawmakers such as Sen. John McCain said the United States had to act quickly to avoid a massacre in Benghazi.

“Although select members were invited to a conference call during a constituent workweek, immediately preceding the president’s press conference, a phone call can hardly be considered significant consultation,” Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon, California Republican, who is the panel’s chairman, said Wednesday.

On the agenda for the committee’s day-into-night session were the pace of withdrawing forces from Afghanistan, gays in the military and the transfer of detainees from the military prison at Guantanamo.

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