Congressman Charlie Rangel, New York Democrat, joined a growing number of members in his party who are critical of President Barack Obama for not consulting Congress before the President ordered the U.S. military to take action against Libya. In an article by the New Amsterdam News, Mr. Rangel suggests that Mr. Obama or Vice President Joe Biden call a special session of Congress to address the matter in Libya:
“What needs to be done at this point is a call by the president or the vice president for a special session of Congress to inform us and to ask our position on this matter,” Rangel said during a press briefing Monday afternoon at the State Office Building.
“Obama is going along with past presidents and the United Nations, which is 90 percent [influenced by] the U.S. At the end of the day we pay the price physically and financially.”
Rangel was outraged that President Barack Obama agreed to launch an attack on Libya without consulting Congress, thereby repeating a pattern of previous presidents, including Harry Truman in Korea, Lyndon Baines Johnson in Vietnam and George W. Bush in Iraq. “When they say we should get rid of Gaddafi, who is the ‘we’”? Rangel continued. “Yes, we should have compassion for the rebels, but should we have a number of sleepless nights worrying about getting rid of Gaddafi? I don’t like the idea of his being taken out.”
Mr. Rangel appears to be echoing fellow Congressional Black Caucus member Congressman John Conyers, Michigan Democrat, who told The Hill that Mr. Obama lacks the authority to order military action against Libya.”I therefore join my colleagues on both sides of the aisle in calling for an immediate session of Congress to review United States military engagement in Libya,” Rep. Conyers said.