Hill panel seeking documents on Libya operations

By DONNA CASSATA | May 11, 2011 | 11:13 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers who believe President Barack Obama's didn't properly consult with Congress before launching air strikes on Libya approved legislation Wednesday seeking Pentagon documents on all communications.

The House Armed Services Committee, beginning a marathon session to craft a $553 billion budget for the Defense Department next year, approved the measure on Libya by voice vote.

Republicans and some Democrats had complained that Obama failed to properly consult with Congress before approving the military operation to protect civilians from Moammar Gadhafi's forces in Libya. The administration and some Republican senators such as John McCain of Arizona said the US had to act quickly to avoid a massacre in Benghazi.

"Although select members were invited to a conference call during a constituent work week, immediately preceding the president's press conference, a phone call can hardly be considered significant consultation," Rep. Howard "Buck" McKeon, R-Calif, the panel chairman, said Wednesday.

On the agenda for the committee's day-into-night session were the pace of withdrawing forces from Afghanistan, gays in the military and the transfer of detainees from the military prison at Guantanamo.