White House to provide lawmakers with more details on Libya

A plume of smoke and fire rises after an airstrike in Tripoli, Libya, on Tuesday. NATO blasted at least two targets just before midnight.

Associated Press

A plume of smoke and fire rises after an airstrike in Tripoli, Libya, on Tuesday. NATO blasted at least two targets just before midnight.

WASHINGTON — The White House responded Tuesday to claims by House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, that the Obama administration is close to violating the War Powers Act by saying that it is in "the final stages" of preparing a package of information for members of Congress that will help clarify the United States' role in Libya.

"We are in the final stages of preparing extensive information for the House and Senate that will address a whole host of issues about our ongoing efforts in Libya, including those raised in the House resolution as well as our legal analysis with regard to the War Powers Resolution," said National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor.

Vietor noted that since March 1, administration witnesses have testified at more than 10 hearings that included "a substantial discussion of Libya and participated in over 30 member or staff briefings, and we will continue to consult with our congressional colleagues."

Boehner, in a letter to President Barack Obama, had warned the administration that it needs to obtain congressional approval for further operations, as Sunday will mark the 90th day since U.S. forces have been engaged militarily in the NATO-led operation, the limit set by the act.

Strikes resume: NATO resumed its airstrikes on the Libyan capital late Tuesday, blasting at least two targets in Tripoli just before midnight, after military leaders voiced concerns about sustaining the operations if the alliance mission drags on.

Canadian recognition: Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird told Parliament on Tuesday that Canada will formally recognize the Libyan rebels as the legitimate government of the country. Canada joins France, Spain, Italy, Germany, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates in formally recognizing the council.

Syria

The Syrian military widened its crackdown on antigovernment protesters Tuesday, dispatching tanks to at least two more locations, including a town near the border with Iraq, as the government sought to extinguish an expanding rebellion. Tanks were on the outskirts of the eastern border town of Deir al-Zour, site of some of the biggest protests of the 3-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad's government. Activists said tanks were also converging on the town of Maarat al-Nouman, where protesters reportedly burned government buildings over the weekend.

Yemen

Hundreds of thousands of Yemenis protested in several major cities on Tuesday, demanding that President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his relatives face trial and calling for the creation of a transitional presidential council to run the poor but strategic Middle Eastern nation. The protests were the largest since Saleh flew to neighboring Saudi Arabia for medical treatment for severe injuries sustained in a June 3 attack on his presidential compound.

Information from the Associated Press, McClatchy Newspapers and the Washington Post was used in this report.

White House to provide lawmakers with more details on Libya 06/14/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 14, 2011 11:53pm]

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