Entries in Rep. Chris Van Hollen (2)


Rep. Van Hollen: Congress Guarding Against 'Mission Creep' in Libya

vanhollen[dot]house[dot]gov(WASHINGTON) -- As President Obama prepares to address the nation on military operations in Libya, some of his allies in Congress are growing anxious for further clarity on the scope and limits of the mission.

On ABC’s Top Line Monday, Rep. Chris Van Hollen said while the president acted within his powers in ordering the attack, members of Congress need assurances that the actions are “limited” and will not include the deployment of U.S. ground troops.

“I do not think the president overstepped his authority,” Van Hollen, D-Md., says. “The president was working with the international community and had to respond in a very rapid fashion to prevent the slaughter of innocent civilians in Libya.”

Moving ahead, he said, “we're all looking very much…forward to what he has to say tonight. There are of course concerns that this mission not result in ‘mission creep,’ and there's nobody that I know of that supports the notion of putting any U.S. ground forces on the ground. We want to make sure this is as limited and focused a military action as possible.”

Van Hollen said he and his colleagues may push to have the mission approved in a formal way by Congress.

“Of course there's concern” inside Congress about the president’s actions to date, he said. “There are a number of options available. I mean, people may want to take up a resolution with respect to the use of force in Libya. But that will be a conversation that takes place between Democrats and Republicans in the House, and in the Senate, of course.”

“I think the president has taken the path that he had to take. And now it is his responsibility to address the nation, as he is going to do tonight.”

On the looming (again) budget standoff, Van Hollen, the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee, said while there is agreement that another short-term patch isn’t the solution, “that’s where the agreement ends.”

"Speaker [John] Boehner is really been sort of captured by the Tea Party wing of his party and the House of Representatives…You have this sort of situation where instead of having the speaker whip his caucus, the Tea Party element of his caucus is whipping the speaker.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Rep. Van Hollen Seeks Ranking Member of House Budget Committee

Photo Courtesy - Chris Van Hollen/ -- Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who currently holds dual leadership positions in the House of Representatives as the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and assistant to the Speaker, sent a letter Wednesday morning to Democratic colleagues seeking their support for Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee.

In the letter, Van Hollen, D-Maryland, tells Democratic colleagues the next two years under a Republican majority will feature a “critical debate over how best to strengthen our economy and move our country forward for all Americans.” Van Hollen writes the Budget Committee will be “a central front” in the conversation about how to accelerate economic growth.

“Having served as a member of the Democratic Leadership and as a member of the Ways and Means Committee, I recognize that the challenges before us are formidable.  Our position as a caucus must be clear and our arguments must be sharp.  Armed with the facts, we must engage the public at every step of this national debate,” Van Hollen writes. “I believe I can serve our caucus effectively as we confront these challenges and ask for your support to become Ranking Member of the Budget Committee.”

Van Hollen, who was just re-elected to his fifth term, is attempting to replace the current chairman, Rep. John Spratt, D-South Carolina, as the top Democrat on the House Budget Committee. Spratt lost his bid for reelection to Republican businessman Mike Mulvaney in last week’s election. The House Budget Committee will likely be chaired in the next session of Congress by the current ranking member, Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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