Chairman Kerry: Committee Passes Libya Resolution with Strong Bipartisan Support

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Approves Resolution 14-5

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Washington, DC – This afternoon, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved 14-5 a bipartisan joint resolution authorizing the limited use of United States Armed Forces in support of the NATO mission in Libya. After the vote, Chairman Kerry released the following statement:

“Today the Committee came together in the spirit of bipartisanship to approve a resolution authorizing the limited use of our Armed Forces in Libya. In doing so, the Committee demonstrated to the world, and in particular to Muammar Qadhafi, our commitment to this critical endeavor. The Committee had a vigorous debate on Libya and held five hearings that culminated with this afternoon’s vote. Throughout the process, my colleagues on both sides of the aisle offered valuable input including several amendments that were accepted and will strengthen this resolution. The United States is strongest when we speak with one voice on foreign policy, and I urge the full Senate to take action as soon as possible.”

On June 21, 2011, Senator Kerry (D-MA) and Senator McCain (R-AZ) introduced S.J. Res. 20 along with Senators Levin, Kyl, Durbin, Feinstein, Graham, Lieberman, Blunt, Cardin, and Kirk. The resolution authorizes President Obama to continue the limited use of U.S. Armed Forces in Libya, in support of U.S. national security policy interests, as part of the NATO mission to enforce United Nations Security Council Resolution 1973 (2011). The authority expires one year after the date of enactment of the resolution. The resolution makes clear that Congress does not support sending U.S. ground troops to Libya unless the purpose of doing so is to protect U.S. government officials or to rescue NATO forces from imminent danger.

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