Entries in House of Representatives (1)


Lawmakers Reject Authorizing US Strikes In Libya

Comstock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- As the NATO bombing campaign in support of Libya’s rebels enters its fourth month, another rebellion is brewing thousands of miles away on Capitol Hill.

Frustrated lawmakers from both parties have threatened to cut off funding for American operations there amid concerns about its cost and growing dissatisfaction with the Obama administration’s skirting of the War Powers Resolution.

On Friday, the House of Representatives declined to grant the president the authority to support the NATO mission in Libya.

With wide bipartisan opposition, a vote on a resolution to authorize operations failed 123-295, with 70 Democrats joining 225 Republicans in opposing authorization. One hundred fifteen Democrats and just eight Republicans voted to give the president the authority.

Aside from granting the president power to wage operations in Libya for the next year, the resolution would have expressed opposition to U.S. ground forces “unless the purpose of the presence is limited to the immediate personal defense of United States Government officials (including diplomatic representatives) or to rescuing members of NATO forces from imminent danger.”  Finally, the measure declares that the president shall consult frequently with Congress regarding United States efforts in Libya.

Two candidates seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2012, Reps. Ron Paul, R-Texas, and Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., both voted against authorization.

The War Powers Resolution requires the president to seek Congressional approval for its engagement there within 90 days of entering hostilities, but White House and State Department lawyers, have argued no approval from Congress is needed given the limited scope of American involvement, which they do not consider hostilities.

The House also voted to reject a second resolution related to Libya.
The second resolution, which was introduced by Rep. Tom Rooney, also failed by a vote of 180-238. Eighty-nine Republicans joined 149 Democrats in defeating the measure. Only 144 Republicans and 36 Democrats voted for it.

The resolution would have specifically limited "the use of funds appropriated to the Department of Defense for United States Armed Forces in support of North Atlantic Treaty Organization Operation Unified Protector with respect to Libya, unless otherwise specifically authorized by law."

Exceptions to the Rooney Resolution ruled that the limitation on funds would not apply with respect to search and rescue; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; aerial refueling; and operational planning.

Congressional aides said support dwindled for the measure as lawmakers grew concerned that the all of the exceptions inherently authorized the president to conduct operations there.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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