The House delivered a stinging rejection of President Barack Obama’s military intervention in Libya on Friday, voting in bipartisan fashion against authorizing the mission for another year. The president’s supporters still held out hope that they could stop an effort to restrict funding for hostilities later Friday.
The overwhelming majority of Republicans and 70 Democrats combined to kill the authorization for the use of force on a lopsided 123-295 vote. GOP leaders allowed it to come to the floor so that they could demonstrate Obama does not have the support of the House for the mission — and they did just that.
The White House scrambled Thursday and Friday to save face by limiting Democratic defections on the authorization measure and the measure that would limit funding for the military intervention in Libya.
National Security Advisor Tom Donilon summoned a small group of liberal House Democrats to the Situation Room at 7 a.m. Friday for a classified briefing. The lawmakers voiced their frustration at the president’s refusal to seek congressional approval for America’s intervention in Libya, and Donilon gave them greater detail of the “facts on the ground” than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did in a private Thursday briefing for House Democrats at the Capitol on Thursday, according to participants.
I must confess that I have mixed feelings about our intervention in Libya. Ka-daffy is a dictator who won’t be missed. He has supported terrorism for decades. On the other hand he has mostly been a joke in recent years and there is no guarantee that his successors will be any better.
The Constitution gives Congress exclusive authority to declare war. They ceded some of that power to the Executive branch with the War Powers Act, but Obama is in violation of that legislation.
As for Hillary Clinton she is wrong when she asks:
But the bottom line is, whose side are you on? Are you on Qadhafi’s side or are you on the side of the aspirations of the Libyan people and the international coalition that has been created to support them?
That’s just a nicer version of George Bush’s “Are you with us or with the terrorists?”
I know some people will be shocked to see me criticize Secretary Clinton, but my support of her has always been based on principle and she has violated some of my principle beliefs. Questioning the motives and patriotism of the opponents of war is WRONG.
I firmly believe in democracy and the rule of law. If it is the will of the people (as expressed through their elected representatives) that we go to war in Libya I will accept that such a war is legal. That does not mean I approve of such a war, only that such action is constitutional.
I still think Hillary would be a better POTUS than anyone else available, but I’m not part of any cult of personality. I’m not going to make (or accept) any excuses for what she said – she was wrong to say that, period.
Hours after rejecting a resolution to authorize the U.S. military operation in Libya, the House on Friday voted down a measure that would have cut off funds for the mission’s hostilities.
The measure, which would have had no chance of passage in the Democratic-controlled Senate, would have made an exception for search and rescue efforts, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, aerial refueling and operational planning to continue the NATO effort in Libya.
The roll call vote exposed splits in both parties. Over 30 Democrats voted to defund the NATO-led mission, while 89 Republicans voted against the measure backed by GOP leaders.
The final vote was 238 to 180.