|Congressman Keith Ellison’s Statement on His Vote Opposing Speaker Boehner’s and Rep. Kucinich’s Resolutions on Libya|
|June 03, 2011|
I voted against two resolutions concerning U.S. involvement in Libya because they would have limited our ability to respond to humanitarian emergencies.
I was one of the first members of Congress to call for a no-fly zone over Libya to protect innocent civilians who want nothing more than freedom and the right to self-determination. Hours before the United Nations passed Resolution 1973, which the Arab League supported, Col. Moammar Gadhafi vowed to attack the strategically located port city that is home to 600,000 people and contains a major airport. I supported American participation in NATO operations to prevent a massacre and support the pro-democracy movements across the Middle East. Gadhafi’s forces do not control this vital city.
I agreed with provisions in Speaker Boehner’s resolution prohibiting use of U.S. ground forces in Libya and requesting that President Obama seek Congressional approval for our continued involvement in Libya. However, I could not support the overall resolution because it would have limited the use of our military exclusively to national security, not humanitarian intervention. I also opposed Rep. Kucinich’s resolution because I believe it would have emboldened Col. Gadhafi and compromised the safety of the Libyan people.