Libya

Blunt – Flickr/Gage Skidmore; McCaskill – Flickr/SenatorMcCaskill

From the start, Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo) has been critical of the Obama administration’s response to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Libya last September that resulted in the death of an ambassador and three other Americans. And on Thursday, Blunt had the opportunity to question departing Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about the attack.

Panetta testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in what will likely be his final appearance before Congress.

(St. Louis Public Radio/UPI)

Republican United States Senator Roy Blunt criticized President Obama's response to the attacks on embassies in Egypt and Libya. In the Libyan attacks, four embassy employees were killed, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. Allegedly, the attacks were in response to a film that ridiculed Islam's Prophet Muhammad.

(via WhiteHouse.gov video/ screen capture)

Thank you for joining us here for this earlier live event. Archive video of Obama's remarks are below.

Will be updated.

President Obama spoke this morning about the events in Libya that left the US Ambassador to Libya dead along with three other Americans.

The end has come for Col. Moammar Gadhafi, who ruled Libya for more than 40 years and over the decades became one of the world's most notorious dictators and sponsors of terrorism.

Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill
(via Wikimedia Commons/United States Senate)

Reporting from WBEZ's Kate Dries used in this report.

Illinois Senator Mark Kirk says the U.S. doesn't need to give any more aid to Libya.

Speaking to reporters Thursday from Libya, Kirk says the country has enough money to support itself - at least $100 billion seized from former leader Moammar Gadhafi.

"I had my worries that those funds were not being released on time," Kirk said. "But I was reassured by key figures -- the chairman, the prime minister, and the finance minister -- that they have adequate resources for their capacity right now.

(via Wikimedia Commons/United States Senate)

Reporting from Illinois Public Radio's Luke Runyon used in this report.

U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk says Libyan rebels should be given weapons to help them quickly overthrow Moammar Gadhafi's regime.

The Illinois Republican says furnishing weapons will help end the Libyan war and limit costs for the United States and its allies. 

Kirk spoke with reporters Friday. He says the conflict in Libya needs to be finished quickly. 

(St. Louis Public Radio/UPI)

Via two conference calls today, Missouri's Senators shared their opinions on the continuing situation in Libya.

Democrat Claire McCaskill says she's concerned about conditions in Libya.

While the Senator is awaiting briefings from military officials, she says it appears there has been a reversal over the last 24 hours.

McCaskill says the U.S. effort must have a clear timeline.

(Wikimedia Commons/Online Guide to House Members and Senators)

Though he says a government shutdown would be "tragic," Missouri Democrat William Lacy Clay says he doesn't expect Republicans and Democrats to be able to reach an agreement on a budget for this year before a temporary spending plan expires next Friday.

The extension is the sixth since the federal budget expired in September 2010. And Clay says the U.S. House is in "total disarray," with Congressional Republicans choosing to advance policies simply to hurt the Obama administration.

(via Wikimedia Commons/online congressional guide)

U.S. intervention in Libya was necessary, but exposes "obvious inconsistencies" in the country's foreign policy, says Missouri Democratic Congressman Russ Carnahan.

Carnahan says he's pleased that President Obama attempted to limit U.S. involvement in the intervention and is glad that international allies are involved.

(via Wikimedia commons/SSGT CHAD R. GANN, USAF)

A unit of the Illinois Air National Guard is joining the mission to maintain a no-fly zone over Libya.

The 126th Air Refueling Wing is based out of Scott Air Force Base in southwest Illinois. It refuels aircraft in mid-air at speeds of more than 500 mph.

The unit flies the KC-135R Stratotanker. That's the military version of the Boeing 707.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Sen. Claire McCaskill says two new federal reports out about health care at the John Cochran veteran's hospital in St. Louis are only part of the picture she wants to get on that facility.

The inspector general on Monday released reports on problems with sterilization at the hospital's dental clinic, and on complaints from employees that they did not have the equipment they needed to do their jobs.

Those reports are important because they outline existing problems, McCaskill says, but the specifics on dealing with those problems have to come from veterans. And that's where her new customer satisfaction survey comes in.

"I really want to see this through the eyes of veterans. I want to know how they feel on an individual basis about the services they’re receiving, and I think that's going to be a very good measure of the work we have to do, she says."