Obama dismisses Libya criticism as political "fuss"
President Barack Obama defended the US role in Libya on Wednesday, dismissing the criticism levied by Congress over the constitutionality of the operation, dpa reported.
"A lot of this fuss is politics," Obama said at a press conference.
The US-supported NATO-led operation against Libyan leader Moamer Gaddafi's regime has saved thousands of lives, Obama said. He added that he has followed through on his pledge to limit the size and scope of US involvement.
"We have done exactly what I said we would do," Obama said.
Obama has faced criticism from Democratic and Republican members of Congress. Some Democrats have expressed outright opposition to the US military role, while Republicans have faulted Obama for not getting explicit congressional approval.
The Republican-controlled House of Representatives last week voted down a resolution authorizing the limited US role in Libya in a move seen as a rebuke of Obama. The Senate has yet to vote on similar resolution, but it is expected to pass in the upper chamber of Congress.
The Republicans argue Obama has violated the 1973 War Powers Resolution by failing to get explicit congressional approval. Obama has maintained that he is not required to get congressional authorization because US forces are not engaged in continuous hostilities in Libya, and that he is therefore in compliance with the resolution.
Passed in the wake of the war in Vietnam, the law obliges the president to seek a congressional endorsement if a military operation extends beyond 60 days. Military action against Libya began March 19.
In the past, presidents - both Democrat and Republican - have largely ignored the War Powers Resolution, saying it violates the rights afforded to the president under the Constitution.