Old Pals McCain, Kerry Reunite to Back Libya Operation
John Kerry and John McCain have something of a love-hate relationship; they have attacked each other vigorously at various times, but have also reportedly been close at others, working in concert in the 1990s on the issue of whether there were American troops still missing from the Vietnam era in Southeast Asia. Kerry even tried to get McCain to join him on the Democratic ticket in 2004, a sure winner politically that the Arizona senator refused, probably because it would have made it impossible for him to be president (short of Kerry being assassinated).
They are back on, though, it seems, pushing for a joint congressional resolution authorizing the use of force in Libya, with limitations:
Obama has been under fire from both parties for authorizing U.S. military action in Libya without congressional approval — a move that some argue violates the Constitution. The White House maintains it does not need such approval given that limited U.S. air attacks do not constitute the kind of “hostilities” defined by the War Powers Act. Many on Capitol Hill actually support a U.S. role in the NATO-led operation in Libya but are angry that Obama did not seek congressional authorization.
McCain’s warning to House Republicans came as he and Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry (D-Mass.) introduced their own bipartisan joint resolution that authorizes limited U.S. forces in Libya for a fixed period of time — essentially, what Obama is already doing. Unlike a regular resolution, a joint resolution carries the force of law, so passage of their measure would send a stronger message of support from Congress on what the White House is orchestrating in Libya.
“This is absolutely not a blank check,” Kerry said on the Senate floor. “It says specifically that the Senate does not support the use of ground troops in Libya. And it authorizes this limited use of American forces for a limited duration — It would expire in a year.”
Foreign policy is the one issue on which McCain has been rather consistent over the years, and his adherence to the Bush orthodoxy–robust interventionism–helped him win the Republican nomination in 2008. [Huffington Post]