2 Leading US Senators Call for Limited US Role in Libya

Posted June 21st, 2011 at 11:35 pm (UTC-5)
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Two leading U.S. senators have introduced a resolution that would limit the role of the U.S. military in Libya.

Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, a Democrat , and a leading Republican, John McCain , unveiled the measure Tuesday.

The resolution would impose a one-year limit on U.S. military involvement in the NATO coalition in Libya, and prevent the use of American ground troops in the conflict. But both senators cautioned against abandoning the U.S. mission, saying Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi is close to losing his grip on power.

Meanwhile, House Speaker John Boehner said on Tuesday the House of Representatives is set to discuss two competing resolutions on the Libya conflict. One resolution – similar to McCain and Kerry's proposal in the Senate – will authorize the use of force in Libya, while the other calls for the removal of all U.S. forces except for those engaged in non-hostile operations.

Earlier this month the House passed a resolution stating that President Barack Obama failed to provide Congress with compelling rationale for U.S. military action in Libya. The president has been criticized by Republican and Democratic lawmakers for not seeking congressional authorization to intervene in the conflict.

Separately, the U.S. Treasury Department has tightened sanctions against the Libyan government by prohibiting U.S. transactions with nine companies owned or operated by Mr. Gadhafi's government.

The Treasury Department also removed sanctions against former Oil Minister Shukri Mohammed Ghanem because he defected from Mr. Gadhafi's government last month.