"I believe we will find a strong, bipartisan majority that is in favor of authorizing our current military operations in Libya and seeing this mission through to success," said Republican US Senator John McCain, one of the authors of the bill.
"That is a message that (Libyan President Moamer) Kadhafi needs to hear. It is a message that Khadafi's opponents, fighting to liberate their nation, need to hear," McCain told his fellow senators during floor debate in the Senate, as he urged a vote on the measure "as soon as possible."
The veteran Republican lawmaker admitted to harboring some reservations about how US military assets were used in support of the NATO military action, and said he would have much preferred it if Obama had received congressional sanction to use US military might in Libya.
But, said McCain, "at the end of the day, I believe the president did the right thing by intervening to stop a looming humanitarian disaster in Libya."
Meanwhile, his Democratic co-sponsor, Senator John Kerry, assured fellow lawmakers that the measure would not allow an unending US military role in Libya.