Kucinich talks impeachment, threatens military funding for Libya
March 22nd, 2011
11:35 AM ET
3 years ago

Kucinich talks impeachment, threatens military funding for Libya

Washington (CNN) After declaring President Obama's decision to order airstrikes on Libya a potential "impeachable offense," Ohio Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich is calling for an immediate halt to all funds for any further military action in the conflict.

"Now the immediate thing that Congress needs to do when it returns is to cut off any funds for continuing in Libya and I intend to bring forward such an amendment," Kucinich said in an interview with CNN, noting any legislative action would have to wait until after the current Congressional recess.


White House officials insist the President's actions are well within the law, pointing to a letter sent by Mr. Obama to House Speaker John Boehner Monday. The letter emphasizes the airstrikes are part of an international mission to enforce a "no-fly zone" authorized by a United Nations Security Council Resolution.

The letter, the administration argues, satisfies the War Powers Act which requires the President to inform Congress within 48 hours of engaging in any military action.

"Our view is a mission of this kind which is time limited, well defined and discreet clearly falls within the president's constitutional authority," said Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes at a press briefing Monday.

Rhodes noted President Obama is following the lead taken by his recent predecessors. "If you actually look at precedent, President Clinton pursued the intervention in Bosnia. He did not have congressional authorization but he did provide a letter consistent with the War Powers Act," Rhodes said.

Kucinich points to Article 1, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution which places the power to "declare war" in the hands of Congress.

"It is very clear that what President Obama did is beyond what the Constitution permits a president to do. That really isn't disputable," Kucinich argued.

In a series of interviews on Monday, Kucinich suggested the President could be impeached for his actions. For now, the anti-war Democrat tells CNN he has no plans to initiate any impeachment proceedings.

"Now, impeachment is a process. I haven't gotten into that. I raised the question as to whether or not (President Obama) exceeded his authority and raising the question as to whether or not it is an impeachable offense," Kucinich said.

One key Democrat in the Senate dismissed any notion of impeachment in a radio interview on Tuesday. Michigan Democratic Senator Carl Levin told the Bill Press Radio Show there is strong bipartisan support for the U.S. mission in Libya, dubbed Operation Odyssey Dawn.

"I think we ought to focus on what the issues are here," Levin said.

Still, Kucinich has the support of several Republicans who want a closer examination of President Obama's actions in Libya.

Texas Republican Congressman Ron Paul, a libertarian Tea Party favorite, also argues the President lacks the Constitutional authority to take direct military action without a vote in Congress.

"My main argument is we don't have the authority. And when we get involved, it generally very rarely does much good," said Paul in an interview on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360.


Filed under: CNN • Dennis Kucinich • Libya • President Obama
soundoff (133 Responses)
  1. Political Scum

    Kusinich why down you do something progressive and show us how to be quiet while the adults speak. Is that an olive pit in your sandwich? What a media hoar!

    March 22, 2011 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. Far

    You would take away a persons rights as Americans? Wow, I'm not sure we have to look to far for the fools when they're right here

    March 22, 2011 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  3. doug

    What ever happened to the monroe dontrine that was written by president james monroe? it stated that we would KEEP OUT of foreign affairs. what the hell. this is why so many countries hate us and want us dead is cause we wont let them run their countries their way. if gadafi wants to blow all of libya up and be the next sadam. let him. its his country not ours!

    March 22, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. frespech

    nnvoter: Think again. Obama ran on a platform of drawing down troops in Iraq, Escalating the war in Afghanistan. Ending don't ask don't tell and instituting healthcare reform. All has been done. I suggest you consider facts before you go on one of your fox news rants.

    March 22, 2011 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  5. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    To my fellow Democrats from Ohio, will you please stop sending this guy to Washington? He is almost as much of an embarrassment to the party as Nancy Pelosi, and almost as much of an embarrassment to Congress as Michele Bachmann!

    March 22, 2011 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  6. Ken in NC

    Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich has a right to speak out about what he feels is a misstep on the part of the President, however, he should be more respectful with his accusations and talk of impeachable offenses. Members of Congress were called to the White House and some were on a confrence call since the Republican leadership of the House decided they would only work 3 weeks a month. The President laid out his intentions and that was the time for members of Congress to question his actions. They didn't and he proceeded to put the plan in action. Congressman Kucinich is an IDIOT. He has no clue what he is talking about. He is one of those people that would have been better served by keeping his mouth shut and allowing people to only think him a fool rather than opening it as he did and removing all doubt. He needs to be replaced in the next election with a Democrat that has smarts enough to know when to keep his mouth shut.

    March 22, 2011 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  7. Blutarski

    Finally a Democrat with the balls to stand up against this GW Bush wannabe President. Regime Change by Bombs. We have had enough of your Bush tactics.

    March 22, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  8. John

    I have to hand it to 'ol Dennis – he is crazy – but he isn't a hypocrite.

    March 22, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
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