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President's Libya Speech Does Little to Allay Concerns in Congress

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The key concern remains the lack of Congressional involvement and oversight. The War Powers Act of 1973, created after the Vietnam War to ensure legislative checks and balances before and during wartime situations, limits the president's ability to commit armed forces to conditions that are not met in this case.

If the U.S. wants to lead and inspire the world in setting the standard for good governance, getting this executive-legislative relationship right is critical.

We must also be consistent with our involvement in the Middle East and North Africa, in light of similarly violent government crackdowns throughout the region, so that we do not send the message that America does not value equally the human rights and freedoms of people in different countries.

Finally, we must commit to never again prop up autocrats like Gaddafi.

This region, which is rife with undemocratic rulers supported in the past by the US government, will expect all spectrum of democratic support going forward, to prevent situations like Libya from ever happening again.

Rep Mike Honda is the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus's Peace and Security Taskforce. Follow Rep Honda on Facebook and Twitter.

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