Boehner: US Congress has "power of purse" on Libya

WASHINGTON, June 16 Thu Jun 16, 2011 10:20am EDT

WASHINGTON, June 16 (Reuters) - U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday that a White House argument that the United States was not in the middle of hostilities in Libya did not pass the "straight face" test.

Boehner told reporters that the White House letter lawmakers received Wednesday didn't make clear whether President Barack Obama's legal advisers agreed that the Libyan conflict was too limited to require congressional authorization under the 1973 War Powers Resolution.

Boehner warned U.S. lawmakers still had options for dealing with the Libyan conflict, including "the power of the purse" -- that is, cutting off funding for the war. (Editing by Eric Beech)

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