U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson, R-Urbana, who already opposes U.S. involvement in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, today said he would introduce legislation to de-fund military action in Libya.
The six-term Republican said he would work with Rep. Justin Amash, R-Mich., a freshman congressman, to draft legislation declaring the action unconstitutional.
“Constitutionally, it is indisputable that Congress must be consulted prior to an act of war unless there is an imminent threat against this country. The president has not done so,” Johnson said. “In fact, this is the same man who questioned President Bush’s constitutional authority to commit troops to war.
“Our country has no business enmeshing itself in another country’s civil unrest. We were not attacked. Our national security interests are not at stake. It is the American people, through their elected representatives, who are constitutionally empowered to take this kind of action. Not the president.
“We have spent $443.5 billion in the war in Afghanistan since 2001. We have spent $805.6 billion in Iraq in that time. We are already beyond broke for largely unacceptable reasons, and the president has just added to that dubious legacy, committing American lives and dollars without our consent and no end game in sight.
“The first night of this attack, we fired 112 Tomahawk missiles. Each of these missiles can cost up to $1.5 million. That’s $168 million for one night’s assault. Estimates to maintain the no-fly zone, depending on how much of the country we want to dominate, can cost $30 million to $100 million per week. Our commitment to that goal is to date open-ended.”