Call it last month’s biggest controversy, if you’d like.
When U.S. military involvement in Libya passed the 90-day mark in June, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle had sharp words—and even a lawsuit—ready for President Obama. They alleged that he’d failed to comply with the 1973 War Powers Act, which requires presidents to seek Congressional approval for any hostilities lasting more than 60 days.
The Obama administration had responded that the U.S. was playing a support role in Libya that didn’t rise to the level of “hostilities” and thus didn’t require Congressional approval. It was a legal reasoning that even lawmakers supportive of the Libya intervention ridiculed as flimsy. (Read our explainer on the War Powers Act.) The back-and-forth dominated a news cycle, and the law was brought up at about half of all the White House press briefings conducted in June.
And then, the controversy disappeared. [read more]