House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has been putting pressure on the White House to explain the legal basis for participating in the UN-backed NATO campaign in Libya. This week Boehner wrote a letter to President Obama warning that he will be in violation of the War Powers Resolution which requires a president to explain to Congress his or her legal reasoning for taking the country to war.
However, Boehner hasn’t always been a big supporter of the President coming to Congress for war authorization. Today during his press briefing, White House spokesperson Jay Carney pointed out that in 1999, Boehner called the War Powers Resolution “constitutionally suspect,” and warned Congress to “resist the temptation to take any action that would do further damage to the institution of the presidency.”
The AP reports that Boehner’s spokesman, Brendan Buck, dismissed Carney’s reference to a “decade-old statement,” and added that, “As speaker, it is Boehner’s responsibility to see that the law is followed, whether or not he agrees with it,” Buck said.
But Boehner hasn’t always been a fan of seeing that the law is followed either, whether or not he agrees with it. In fact, the Speaker has made it very clear that he does not support the Affordable Car Act the President signed into law last year. And 7 months after the ACA became the law of the land, Boehner promised to make sure it isn’t followed:
BAIER: You criticized the president for spending too much time on healthcare. If you spend a lot of time trying to repeal it when it’s not a reality in a Democratic Senate or in a presidential veto, won’t you get criticized for that?
BOEHNER: Well, there’s a lot of tricks up our sleeves in terms of how we can dent this, kick it, slow it down to make sure it never happens. And trust me, I’m going to make sure this healthcare bill never ever, ever is implemented.
Given also that Boehner said two weeks ago that Obama has already met the requirements of the War Powers Act, it’s becoming more and more clear that the Speaker’s stunt is nothing more than political gamesmanship.