Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, the chairman of the influential Republican Study Committee, tells National Review Online that he is deeply troubled by President Obama’s “lack of clarity” on Libya. For the moment, however, Jordan is not preparing to legislate against the U.S. intervention.
“There was not the kind of debate that the Founders envisioned,” Jordan says. “People in my district and colleagues have said that we should be involved in this, that this is a constitutional concern. But I have not heard about any type of legislative activity.”
Once Congress returns early next week, he predicts, “we are going to listen to members’ thoughts — that’s step one.” Then, he says, “we will see what needs to happen.” House Speaker John Boehner, he adds, has been “right on target” with his statements.
Jordan notes that he has not yet discussed the issue on an RSC-wide conference call and is still taking a wait-and-see approach with regard to his group’s official response to the president’s military action in the war-torn country.
“When we are back next week, you are going to see members, at a minimum, calling for more debate and discussion on this entire operation,” he says. “This is about getting the facts. We do not know all that much about the forces that are fighting Qaddafi. I don’t completely understand where they come from. Those questions need to be addressed. Members of Congress need more information.”
In coming days, “the first question is what is in America’s best interest,” Jordan says. “We need to have a debate and a discussion about that in the Congress and with the American people.” Beyond that, he says, lawmakers will need to grapple with funding U.S. operations in a third Middle Eastern theater. “There is some concern about the cost, particularly in light of where we find ourselves with the deficit we are now running each month and with our overall debt.”