Add U.S. Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) to the list of liberal Democrats raising serious questions about President Obama's decision to have U.S. forces be part of an international offensive against the forces of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
The Lane County Democrat isn't going as far as some of his party colleagues in broaching the prospect of impeachment but did say today that, "The president must immediately convene the Congress and ask for authority under the War Powers Act if he intends to engage U.S. forces in hostile action."
"In asking for this authorization, he would be required to propose the scope, duration, and objective of the U.S. forces in this conflict," DeFazio said in a news release. "Until then, the president must restrict U.S. involvement in carrying out the United Nations mandate to logistical support. Our allies in Britain, France, and the Arab nations have sophisticated military and they are capable of carrying out the orders from the U.N. We can support them by using AWACs for intelligence gathering, refueling ally jets, and other logistical support. Only Congress has the authority to declare war. If the president intends to engage U.S. forces, he has an obligation to recall Congress and ask for such authority."
While DeFazio's opposition to Obama on policy issues isn't unusual, this dispute is one more indication that the Democratic president is again ticking off the party's progressives.