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House Rejects Resolution Authorizing Libya Mission In Rebuke To Obama

WASHINGTON -- The House has voted down a measure giving President Barack Obama the authority to continue the U.S. military action against Libya.

The vote was 295-123 on Friday. The congressional action has no immediate effect on American involvement but represents a repudiation of the commander in chief.

The vote marks the first time since 1999 that either House has voted against a military operation. The last time was over President Bill Clinton's authority in the Bosnian war.

House Republican leaders pushed for the vote, with rank-and-file members saying the president broke the law by failing to seek congressional approval for the 3-month-old war. Some Democrats accused the GOP of playing politics with national security.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Challenging President Barack Obama's authority as commander in chief, the House pushed toward votes Friday on the U.S. military involvement in Libya, weighing competing measures to continue the operation or cut off funds for military attacks.

"We have drifted into an apparently open-ended commitment with goals vaguely defined," said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., the chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Committee, as Democrats and Republicans criticized the mission and Obama's treatment of Congress.

"What? We don't have enough wars going on," Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio., asked mockingly. "We need one more war. We have to wage war against another nation that didn't attack us."

The House was scheduled to vote on dueling legislation: a resolution giving Obama limited authority to continue the American involvement in the NATO-led operation against Moammar Gadhafi's forces and a bill to cut off funds for U.S. military attacks there.

The resolution mirrors a Senate measure sponsored by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and John McCain, R-Ariz., that Obama has indicated he would welcome. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will consider the resolution on Tuesday.

The bill to cut off funds would make an exception for search and rescue efforts, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, aerial refueling and operational planning to continue the NATO effort in Libya. It has no chance in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

"The president has ignored the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, but he cannot ignore a lack of funding," said Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., sponsor of the bill. "Only Congress has the power to declare war and the power of the purse, and my bill exercises both of those powers by blocking funds for the war in Libya unless the president receives congressional authorization."

House Republicans and Democrats are furious with Obama for failing to seek congressional authorization for the 3-month-old war against Gadhafi, as required under the War Powers Resolution. The 1973 law, often ignored by Republican and Democratic presidents, says the commander in chief must seek congressional consent for military actions within 60 days. That deadline has long passed.

Obama stirred congressional unrest last week when he told lawmakers he didn't need authorization because the operation was not full-blown hostilities. NATO commands the Libya operation, but the United States still plays a significant support role that includes aerial refueling of warplanes and intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance work as well as drone attacks and bombings.

A New York Times report that said Obama overruled some of his legal advisers further incensed members of Congress.

In a repudiation of the president, a coalition of anti-war Democrats and tea party-backed Republicans was expected to defeat the resolution that would give Obama authority for the operation. The fate of the legislation to cut off funds was uncertain.

In a last-ditch effort Thursday, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with rank-and-file Democrats to explain the mission and discuss the implications if the House votes to cut off funds. The administration requested the closed-door meeting.

Rep. Tim Walz, D-Minn., said Clinton apologized for not coming to Congress earlier. But he said she warned about the implications of a House vote to cut off money.

"The secretary expressed her deep concern that you're probably not on the right track when Gadhafi supports your efforts," Walz said.

Rep. Howard Berman of California, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said such a vote "ensures the failure of the whole mission."

Earlier this week Clinton said lawmakers were free to raise questions, but she asked, "Are you on Gadhafi's side, or are you on the side on the aspirations of the Libyan people and the international coalition that has been bringing them support?"

In the Senate, backers of a resolution to authorize the operation wondered whether the administration had waited too long to address the concerns of House members.

"It's way late," said McCain, the top Republican on the Armed Services Committee. "This is one of the reasons why they're having this veritable uprising in the House, because of a lack of communication. And then the icing on the cake was probably for them when he (Obama) said that we're not engaged in hostilities. That obviously is foolishness."

He added, however, "That is not a reason to pass a resolution that would encourage Moammar Gadhafi to stay in power."

Earlier this month, the House voted 268-145 to rebuke Obama for failing to provide a "compelling rationale" for the Libyan mission and for launching U.S. military forces without congressional approval.

by Anonymousreply 1210/09/2012

This is great news. Now, if they will follow up with impeachment hearings (which they should have done with Bush and Clinton also) then I'll take them seriously. Otherwise, it's just political theater.

by Anonymousreply 106/24/2011

Which just shows that Republicans don't support our military in times of war.

Actually, I think it shows they have more balls to say "FUCK YOU" to a sitting president.

Something Democrats sorely lacked during the George W. Bush Reign of Terror

by Anonymousreply 206/24/2011

Oh please. Could the Reps be any more transparent? Put a fucking "R" next to the mission and they'd be doing pyramids like the good, little, warmongering cheerleaders they are.

They've never seen a war they didn't love. Bonus points when it involves brown people who aren't "God fearin' Christians."

They only have a problem with the "who" at the helm, not the where/why/how/what.

by Anonymousreply 306/24/2011

Exactly, R3. Just as the majority of Dems have been silent about Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo, etc. since Obama was elected, the Reps will support any war, any action, any subsidy, as long as it's a Repub prez.

It's disgusting and just shows how little difference there is between Reps and Dems.

If Reps supported gay marriage, Dems would be opposed. Political theater.

by Anonymousreply 406/24/2011

Mind you, if the Democrats did this they'd be painted as unpatriotic.

Democrats need to start owning the message.

by Anonymousreply 506/24/2011

This is bi-partisan.%0D Neither party has the appetite for yet another war. You can't pound on war for ten years and then just flip and send military over to Libya for no reason and without our interest? I don't care who the President is. I also hope this serves as a reminder for any President who tries to do it in the future

by Anonymousreply 606/24/2011

The hypocrisy of Republicans is always mind boggling.%0D

by Anonymousreply 706/24/2011

R7, the Dems are just as hypocritical. Where are the protests over his broken promises on Iraq, and Guantanamo, and the PATRIOT(sic) Act?

Idiots who still believe that the Dems aren't just as corrupt and evil as the Reps are simply being willfully blind.

by Anonymousreply 806/24/2011

R6, come on, you know the repubs would be happy to vote for any and every war a repub president wanted. This is about undermining Obama.

by Anonymousreply 906/24/2011

All I can say is that the 2012 elections are going to make 2000 look like Mother Goose.

I wouldn't be surprised that SCOTUS decides the next president

by Anonymousreply 1006/24/2011

The Federal Aviation Administration is working towards putting the finishing touches on rules and regulations for widespread domestic drone use, and the agency expects as many as 30,000 UAVs will be in America’s airspace by the decade’s end. As Russia Today notes, given that the department has already addressed the issue of acquiring drones to give the DHS a better eye of domestic doings, though, those law enforcement operations in question could very well transcend away from legitimate uses and quickly cause civil liberty concerns from coast-to-coast. All drones will be equipped with Electro-Optical/Infra-Red sensors, as well as the technology to sniff out certain chemicals from thousands of feet above our heads. Have no fear though, since the "Robotic Aircraft for Public Safety" program is for your own protection, we are sure Janet Napolitano would suggest.

by Anonymousreply 1110/09/2012

Oh noes! No more bombing?

by Anonymousreply 1210/09/2012
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