Texas senator John Cornyn plans to introduce a resolution in the Senate that would “[express] the sense of the Senate that United States policy should be to remove Muammar Qaddafi from power in Libya, and [cal] on the President to submit a plan to achieve that goal and to seek congressional authorization for the use of military force against Libya.”
The resolution on Libya states, in its conclusion:
Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that—
(1) the policy of the United States should be to remove Muammar Qaddafi from power and to use military force, if necessary, to achieve that goal;
(2) the President should submit to Congress a detailed description of United States policy objectives in Libya, both during and after Qaddafi’s rule, and a plan to achieve them; and
(3) the President should seek a congressional authorization for the use of military force against Libya.
The resolution is non-binding and, even if passed, would not become law. Instead, a Senate resolution is a sign of support—or, rather, an expression of where the Senate stands on a particular issue.
“Our hope would be that there would be strong support on both sides of the aisle,” a spokesman from Cornyn’s office told me. The Texas senator passed the resolution around to members of Congress yesterday, though it is still too early to tell what sort of support the resolution might have from his colleagues.
Last week, freshman senator Marco Rubio of Florida sent a letter to the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate, Harry Reid and Mitch McConnell, asking “support for bringing a bi-partisan resolution to the Senate floor authorizing the President's decision to participate in allied military action in Libya.”
“Furthermore,” Rubio wrote, “this resolution should also state that removing Muammar Qaddafi from power is in our national interest and therefore should authorize the President to accomplish this goal. To that end, the resolution should urge the President to immediately recognize the Interim Transitional National Council as the legitimate government in Libya.”