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Congress: Libya critics, left and right.


House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, speaks at a news conference on Capitol Hill earlier this month. Boehner sent a letter to Obama criticizing his handling of Libya.

“In a letter made public as the president returned from his Latin American trip, Mr. Boehner said the administration had sent conflicting messages about its goals in Libya. He said the public deserved a fuller explanation of the objectives of the military mission and how the White House will measure success,” the New York Times’s Hulse writes, adding, “Earlier, Mr. Boehner had struck a more neutral tone, saying America had a “moral obligation” to help opponents of Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi while urging the White House to define its intent. But Wednesday’s letter illustrated mounting Congressional wariness over the use of force without fuller participation by the House and Senate as well as uncertainty over how long American military units would lead the military action.”

Politico picks up on it as well: “The letter is a far sharper critique of the president’s handling of the affair than Boehner has offered. It makes clear that Republicans, at least in the House, will play an oppositional role for the White House as the situation in Libya unfolds.”

Meanwhile Senate Democrats Carl Levin (MI), Jack Reed (RI) and Dick Durbin (IL) held a conference call yesterday to defend President Obama’s Libya campaign. Politico points out they’re among the few congressional leaders in either party to strongly support the action so far.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi put out this statement on Libya yesterday: “Acting upon the United Nations Security Council's resolution to use ‘all measures necessary’ to protect the Libyan people and the Arab League's call for a no-fly-zone, the United States joined the international community in preventing an imminent humanitarian crisis in Libya. Actions taken by the international community have already prevented Qaddafi from implementing his threat to ‘show no mercy’ to his own people, including those living in the city of Benghazi. Decisions made in the days ahead are strengthened by our NATO partners’ participation. U.S. participation is strengthened by the President's continued consultation with Congress.”