Boehner says president must clarify U.S. military operations
June 2nd, 2011
02:23 PM ET
4 years ago

Boehner says president must clarify U.S. military operations

Washington (CNN) – House Speaker John Boehner criticized President Barack Obama Thursday for not laying out a clear mission for U.S. military operations overseas and, at a time when Congress is struggling to make significant spending cuts, said the president owes the American people some answers.

"I really do believe that the president needs to speak out in terms of our mission in Afghanistan, our mission in Iraq, our mission in Libya and the doubts that our members have, frankly, are reflected, they're reflecting what they're hearing from their constituents," Boehner told reporters at his weekly press conference on Capitol Hill.

Boehner echoed concerns raised by rank-and-file House Republicans at a closed meeting on Wednesday –criticism the president is not spelling out what they think is a coherent explanation of the U.S. role in Libya.

"I said several weeks ago, our members are a bit weary about the amount of money we've spent in Iraq and in Afghanistan and that we're spending in Libya and as a result, really are wondering what's our vital national security interest there?" Boehner asked.

GOP members, openly frustrated with the Obama administration, told leaders they were willing to back a resolution sponsored by Ohio Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich that calls for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from the NATO-led military operation in Libya, potentially putting the U.S. military in an awkward position by not having congressional support while conducting missions there.

Kucinich told reporters Wednesday he is confident he has a bipartisan majority backing his resolution because members of both parties don't believe the president had the authority to approve the Libya military mission without consulting Congress.

When GOP leaders realized Kucinich's resolution could pass, they pulled the bill from floor consideration and scheduled another meeting for Thursday to talk about Libya. Republican leadership aides said House GOP leaders will discuss Kucinich's resolution and other resolutions offered by House Republicans that would put Congress on record disapproving Obama's actions on Libya. These aides expect the House will vote Friday on at least one measure regarding the African country.


Filed under: Congress • House • John Boehner • Libya • President Obama
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. Joan

    Well, George W. Bush's clear plan on Iraq was based on lies (no WMD's, no tie to 911, etc). His plan for Afghanistan was left high and dry to go into Iraq. In doing so he let Bin Laden get away and he also let Al Queda flourish and spread. If the Republicans had their way, the US would have gone into Libya alone, right away and closed the airspace without any NATO support. Remember McCain and others tough rhetoric just days into the Libya conflict. Thanks to President Obama, combat troops are coming home from Iraq, drawdowns will begin in Afghanistan, the Libya mission is a NATO plan not solely the responsibility of the US and, oh yes, he got Bin Laden! So what's your problem Mr. Romney?

    June 2, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. bearced

    "I said several weeks ago, our members are a bit weary about the amount of money we've spent in Iraq and in Afghanistan and that we're spending in Libya and as a result, really are wondering what's our vital national security interest there?" Boehner asked.

    Wasn't it the Republicans who sent us into Iraq and Afghanistan? We would be done in Afghanistan if they didn't forget about it to go after Sadamm.

    June 2, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  3. Citizenny

    The U.S. should have just stayed with Afghanistan....not go in Iraq....not go in Libya....I think Obama made a real bad decision going into Libya, even if it is primarily a NATO operation. (P.S. Watch Bachman politically overpower Romney....she's the GOP frontrunner, and she'll do well and would be a great president! Just watch.)

    June 2, 2011 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  4. GI Joe

    The lush is trying to demand? He's the weakest seaker of the house we've ever had. He needs to work on jobs. The people of this country can vote him and his ilk out, and we will in 2012. He's all demand and no work. Did he not get his full amount of golf in on his two weeks off after only one week (3-1/2 days) in DC?

    June 2, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  5. Amazing

    But, John never asked the same question of the prior adminstration. When will Congress learn to be consistent in their standards? As a Democrat, I love the fact that the Sen. Manchin pushed back on his own party. He will have much more credibility when he pushes back on a Republican. What is right for the American people is more important than what is right for a political party!

    June 2, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  6. Joan

    Well, George W. Bush's clear plan on Iraq was based on lies (no WMD's, no tie to 911, etc). His plan for Afghanistan was left high and dry to go into Iraq. In doing so he let Bin Laden get away and he also let Al Queda flourish and spread. If the Republicans had their way, the US would have gone into Libya alone, right away and closed the airspace without any NATO support. Remember McCain and others tough rhetoric just days into the Libya conflict. Thanks to President Obama, combat troops are coming home from Iraq, drawdowns will begin in Afghanistan, the Libya mission is a NATO plan not solely the responsibility of the US and, oh yes, he got Bin Laden! So what's your problem Mr.Boehner?

    June 2, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. ATL Guy

    After these guys voted to send our people to war and then stood by for 8 years while Bush dithered, now they want Obama to clarify the missions? They held no oversights of the war in Afghanistan and Iraq and now they want Obama to "lead". I would laugh if these clowns weren't serious.

    June 2, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. wishing

    This seems to indicate that the Republicans can initiate and support ongoing military activities in European and middle-eastern countries, but not African countries. Think about it. The Republicans would agree to spend billions of dollars and thousands of American lives in Iraq and Afghanistan, but not spend millions of dollars and no troops in Libya. Does this seem potentially racist to anyone?

    June 2, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. Biggge

    When is the GOP going to start working on JOBS.. Not one Bill sponser by the GOP has anything to do with jobs.... Thank you for making it clear the GOP does not care.....Cut medicare but keep oil money flowing....

    June 2, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. yuhmad

    Boehner, why did you not ask President Bush these same questions, why were we in Iraq when they were no weapons of mass destruction and led the people of the America to believe so? Why did President Bush did not have an exit strategy for Iraq war? Why was so much money spent? Why did McCain said he will not give an exit strategy for the war in Iraq?
    Well, President Obama already gave an exit strategy for the Afghan war and he led majority of the US soldiers out of Iraq?

    June 2, 2011 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  11. DJ in TX

    Let's see, he voted FOR the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but now wants "clear" direction. Obama did NOT get us into Iraq nor Afghanistan. It was President Bush who pushed for the war in Iraq that killed over 4000 servicemembers. BTW – can anyone explain what tangible benefit the U.S. has received for the Iraqi war???? What did the loss of 4K lives do the U.S.?? No one has been able to answer that question.

    June 2, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. diridi

    Did Bush comply operations when we went needlessly to Iraq...Idiot...

    June 2, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Lando

    Mr. Orange.....don't play stupid..you Republibans are known to create wars and invade countries..while destroying the
    middle class Americans....

    June 2, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  14. once upon a horse

    yep kind of like President Bush did.

    June 2, 2011 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  15. Jack

    Obama's stand on Iraq and Afghanistan are exactly the same stand that you have, Boehner. The stand you voted on when Bush invaded Iraq and Afghanistan. Obama's role in Libya is the same role as NATOs. NATO's mission is to prevent Gaddafi from killing civilians and not sending in boots. Don't you read the newspapers? This is all so disingenuous, Boehner.

    June 2, 2011 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  16. Silence Dogood

    You didn't worry about the cost when your guy led us into Afghanistan and Iraq. We're only a supporting player in Libya. Hypocritical summer soliders and sunshine patriots...

    June 2, 2011 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. bcrunner

    Sooo, does anyone recall them asking President Bush to clarify the Missions in Iraq and or Afganistan during all those years... Yeah.. right!! What a double standard!! President Bush did not even include the cost of those wars in the budget.. Maybe President Obama can do the same thing... They can be brought up as supplementals... The annual budgets will look much, much better...

    June 2, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  18. AEK

    Of course when Democrats requested the same thing from Bush/Chaney they were called traitors and UnAmerican! Hypocrites!

    June 2, 2011 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. XWngLady

    This is so bogus! Call the Secretary of Defense. He'll let you know exactly where the President stands. All this faux outrage is sickening. Pick up your telephone. Better yet, haul your butt over to the White House more often and get his personal perspective. There is nothing stopping you from being informed, and/or informing your consituents on this or any other issue. The problem is that you're more concerned with gaining political power and points than with actually being a Representative to your constituents.. Its all just (bad) political theater. We are not fooled.

    June 2, 2011 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. anthony

    "JOBS"
    Thats all i want to hear coming from the Right.
    Thats the promise you ALL made to get voted into power.
    Solutions about how to create more and fix the economy.
    Nothing more.

    Until then, shut up with the politics.

    June 2, 2011 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. steven harnack

    All right! That means that the Republicans won't have a problem with President Obama speeding up the timetable for complete withdrawal of forces from Iraq and that they support ending our Afghanistan adventure next month, right on schedule. Maybe they are even on board for slashing the Defense budget by half. Yeah right, and the world will end on May 21st.

    June 2, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
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