Battle of Words Over War Powers Act

By WEEK Producer

June 16, 2011 Updated Oct 26, 2013 at 2:25 AM CDT

The air war in Libya has stirred up a battle here at home about whether the White House needs approval from Congress to be there at all.

The War Powers Act - enacted during the vietnam war, says presidents have to get the green light from congress for military operations lasting longer than 90 days.

Wednesday, President Obama released a 32 page report saying American Forces are not facing the type of 'hostilities' that would require congressional approval.

But not everyone is buying that. This week, 10 lawmakers from both parties filed a suit against the white house to try to force an end to US involvement in the NATO- led military efforts.

"The president doesn't have the ability to just take us into war without having a vote of congress" says Rep. Dennis Kucinich / (D) Ohio.

Senator Dick Durbin, (D) Illinois agrees with both sides. "I think the President is right in what he is doing, but I think we have the responsibility that goes beyond conclusion. Responsibility to decide that this offensive use of military force, even for good purpose. Good humanitarian purpose, is one that requires permission from the American People through their members of Congress."

Team Obama says US forces will continue offering limited support to Libyan rebels. But republicans are threatening to withhold funds from the mission.

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