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Calendar No. 88
112th Congress Report
1st Session 112-27
S.J. RES. 20, A JOINT RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE LIMITED USE OF THE
UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES IN SUPPORT OF THE NATO MISSION IN LIBYA
June 29, 2011.--Ordered to be printed
Mr. Kerry, from the Committee on Foreign Relations,
submitted the following
[To accompany S.J. Res. 20]
The Committee on Foreign Relations, having had under
consideration S.J. Res. 20, a joint resolution authorizing the
limited use of the United States Armed Forces in support of the
NATO mission in Libya, reports favorably thereon, with
amendments, and recommends that the joint resolution, as
amended, do pass.
II. Committee Action.................................................2
IV. Cost Estimate....................................................4
V. Evaluation of Regulatory Impact..................................4
VI. Changes in Existing Law..........................................4
VII. Minority Views of Senator Lugar..................................5
The purpose of S.J. Res. 20 is to authorize the limited use
of the United States Armed Forces in support of the NATO
mission in Libya.
II. COMMITTEE ACTION
S.J. Res. 20 was introduced by Senators Kerry, McCain,
Levin, Kyl, Durbin, Feinstein, Graham, Lieberman, Blunt,
Cardin, and Kirk on June 21, 2011. On June 28, 2011, the
committee considered S.J. Res. 20 and ordered it reported, with
amendments, by a roll call vote of 14 to 5, with Senators
Kerry, Boxer, Menendez, Cardin, Casey, Webb, Shaheen, Coons,
Durbin, Udall, Rubio, Inhofe, Isakson and Barrasso voting in
favor, and Senators Lugar, Corker, Risch, DeMint and Lee
The committee took the following action with regard to
An amendment by Senator Lugar to express the sense of the
Congress on reconstruction and stabilization costs was agreed
to by voice vote.
An amendment by Senator Lugar to declare that the authority
for the limited use of the United States Armed Forces is
intended to constitute specific statutory authorization under
the War Powers Resolution was agreed to by voice vote (Senator
Inhofe asked to be recorded as voting against the amendment).
A second degree amendment by Senator Webb (to the amendment
from Senator Lugar listed below) to provide the President
limited authority to use United States ground forces and
private security contractors subject to specific advance
authorization from Congress was agreed to by voice vote.
An amendment by Senator Lugar to restrict the use of funds
to deploy, establish or maintain the presence of units and
members of the United States Armed Forces on the ground in
Libya (as amended by the second degree amendment from Senator
Webb listed above) was agreed to by voice vote.
An amendment by Senator Lugar to limit the use of
Department of Defense funds for the United States Armed Forces
in support of Operation Unified Protector failed by a roll call
vote of 5 to 14, with Senators Lugar, Corker, Risch, DeMint,
and Isakson voting in favor, and Senators Kerry, Boxer,
Menendez, Cardin, Casey, Webb, Shaheen, Coons, Durbin, Udall,
Rubio, Inhofe, Barrasso, and Lee opposed.
A second degree amendment by Senator Corker (to the
amendment by Senator Lugar listed below) to require the report
on the cost and impacts of military operations to be submitted
every 30 days was agreed to by voice vote.
An amendment by Senator Lugar (as amended by the second
degree amendment by Senator Corker listed above) to require a
report on the costs and impact of United States military
operations in Libya was agreed to by voice vote.
An amendment by Senator Menendez to ensure the continued
investigation of terrorist attacks against the United States
attributable to the government of Muammar Qaddafi was agreed to
by voice vote.
An amendment by Senator Corker to clarify the goals of
United States military and political goals in Libya was agreed
to by voice vote.
An amendment by Senator Corker to provide for briefings and
reports to Congress on United States efforts in Libya every 30
days was agreed to by voice vote.
An amendment by Senator Corker to provide that the
authority to continue the limited use of the United States
Armed Forces in Libya expires was agreed to by a voice vote
with a modification that was agreed to without objection.
An amendment by Senator Rubio to express the sense of
Congress that the President should recognize the Transitional
National Council was modified and divided without objection.
The portion of the amendment regarding blocked assets was
agreed to by voice vote. The portion of the amendment regarding
recognition of the Transitional National Council was withdrawn.
Section 2(a) of S.J. Res. 20 provides that the President is
authorized to continue the limited use of U.S. Armed Forces in
Libya, in support of United States national security policy
interests, as part of the NATO mission to enforce United
Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 (2011), as requested
by the Transnational Council, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and
the Arab League. Pursuant to section 2(b), this limited
authority expires on the date that NATO operations end or one
year after the date of enactment of the resolution, whichever
Section 2 is intended to constitute specific statutory
authorization within the meaning of section 5(b) of the War
Powers Resolution (WPR) (50 U.S.C. 1544(b)). Section 2(c)(2)(B)
states that United States military operations in Libya since
April 4, 2011 constitute hostilities within the meaning of the
WPR, and may be carried out only under the conditions specified
in section 5(b) of the WPR.
Section 2(d) indicates that appropriated funds may not be
obligated or expended for (1) deploying U.S. Armed Forces on
the ground in Libya for the purposes of engaging in ground
combat operations, or participating in stabilization or
international peacekeeping operations following the removal of
Muammar Qaddafi from government and during the transition to a
new government in Libya; (2) awarding a contract to a private
security contractor to conduct any activity on the ground in
Libya; or (3) otherwise establishing or maintaining any
presence of units or members of the United States Armed Forces
or private security contractor on the ground in Libya. Section
2(d) provides two exceptions to this prohibition. The first is
for the immediate personal defense of United States Government
officials (including diplomatic representatives) or for
rescuing members of NATO forces from imminent danger. The
second applies if, prior to such action, the President
determines and certifies to Congress that the action is
necessary and legislation is enacted specifically authorizing
Section 3 indicates that, consistent with the policy and
statements of the President, Congress does not support
deploying, establishing, or maintaining U.S. Armed Forces on
the ground in Libya unless the purpose of the presence is
limited to the immediate personal defense of United States
Government officials (including diplomatic representatives) or
to rescuing members of NATO forces from imminent danger.
Section 4 requires the President to consult frequently with
Congress regarding United States efforts in Libya and requires
briefings and reports on U.S. efforts in Libya to be delivered
to Congress not later than 30 days after the date of enactment
of the resolution and every 30 days thereafter.
Section 5 requires that the President submit a report on
the costs and impact of military operations in Libya, including
on the impact of such operations on U.S. military operations in
Afghanistan, within 15 days of enactment of the resolution and
every 30 days thereafter.
Section 6 provides that the President shall continue any
investigative activities with regard to the bombing of Pan Am
flight 103 and any other terrorist attacks against United
States citizens and attributable to the Qaddafi regime. It
further requires a report on such investigative activities
within 180 days of enactment of the resolution and annually
thereafter. Finally, section 6 provides that the President
shall consider the cooperation of the Transitional National
Council and any successor government of Libya with respect to
such investigative activities when making decisions about the
distribution of confiscated property and the provision of
United States assistance.
IV. COST ESTIMATE
The resolution authorizes the continuation of the limited
operations of the United States Armed Forces in Libya. In the
report, ``United States Activities in Libya,'' submitted to
Congress on June 15, 2011, the administration estimated the
total cost of those operations from their commencement on March
19, 2011 through September 30, 2011, at $1.104 billion.
Rule XXVI, paragraph 11(a) of the Standing Rules of the
Senate requires that committee reports on bills or joint
resolutions contain a cost estimate for such legislation. To
date, the committee has not received the Congressional Budget
Office cost estimate.
V. EVALUATION OF REGULATORY IMPACT
Pursuant to Rule XXVI, paragraph 11(b) of the Standing
Rules of the Senate, the committee has determined that there is
no regulatory impact as a result of this resolution.
VI. CHANGES IN EXISTING LAW
Pursuant to Rule XXVI, paragraph 12 of the Standing Rules
of the Senate, the committee has determined that there are no
changes in existing law made by the resolution, as reported.
VII. MINORITY VIEWS OF SENATOR LUGAR
I oppose the joint resolution reported by the committee.
The United States is still engaged in wars in Afghanistan
and Iraq and our national debt exceeds $14 trillion. In light
of these circumstances, and the lack of vital U.S. interests in
Libya, I do not believe that we should be intervening in a
civil war there.
As reported by the committee, S.J. Res. 20 would provide
expansive authorities permitting the continuation and
significant escalation of U.S. military involvement in Libya's
The joint resolution would authorize the President to re-
escalate U.S. military involvement in Libya to, and potentially
beyond, the lead role it played at the beginning of the
operation, when the United States carried out intensive air
strikes on a daily basis. The joint resolution would only limit
the President to actions ``in support of United States national
security policy interests'' and ``to enforce United Nations
Security Council Resolution 1973.''
Though President Obama indicated when he initiated this
intervention that it would be limited in duration, our
operations there have now lasted more than 100 days, and this
joint resolution would authorize them to continue for as long
as an additional year. The costs of these operations will
exceed $1 billion by September, and could rise significantly
beyond this over the period provided for in the joint
While I believe the resolution adopted by the committee is
unwise, the committee adopted four amendments I offered to the
resolution that address important issues related to our
involvement in Libya.
Of particular importance, the committee adopted an
amendment to establish as a matter of law that current U.S.
military operations in Libya constitute hostilities for the
purposes of the War Powers Resolution. This will prevent the
administration from continuing to rely on its legally dubious
claim that Congressional authorization is not needed for these
operations because they do not constitute ``hostilities.'' It
will also prevent the administration's interpretation from
becoming an accepted precedent that future administrations may
rely on to conduct significant and prolonged military
engagements without Congressional authorization.
The committee also adopted amendments I offered that will
establish a legally binding prohibition on the use of
appropriated funds to deploy U.S. ground forces to Libya and
will ensure regular reporting to Congress on the costs of the
Libya operations and their impact on other U.S. and NATO
military operations, including against al Qaeda and the
Taliban. In addition, the committee adopted an amendment
expressing the Sense of the Congress that post-war
reconstruction costs in Libya should be borne primarily by the
Libyan people and Arab League nations which requested the
These measures are important if U.S. military operations in
Libya are going to continue, and potentially expand, as
provided for in the joint resolution. These changes are not
sufficient, however, to remedy the fundamentally flawed course
of action which the joint resolution would authorize.