Matt Cover, CNSNews.com
Eighty-one House Republicans voted both ways on allowing President Barack Obama to continue U.S. military involvement in the NATO-led airstrikes against Libya: They voted against allowing the involvement to continue for one more year and against defunding the same involvement.
The first bill, which would have officially authorized the mission in Libya for one year, failed in a123-295 vote, with all but eight Republicans rejecting the measure. The second vote also failed, with a surprising 89 GOP members voting against House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio).
The bill to defund the Libyan involvement had been touted by Boehner as the House’s challenge to President Obama for not seeking congressional authorization and trying to argue that American involvement in the NATO-led mission did not constitute “hostilities” as envisioned by the War Powers Act.
“If the Commander-in-Chief believes that intervention in Libya is important for our national security, he has a responsibility to make a case for it – clearly and publicly – and seek authorization,” Boehner said in a June 21 statement unveiling the bill. “In the three months since military action in Libya began, none of this has occurred. The American people deserve to have their voice heard in this debate, and Congress has a responsibility to hold the White House accountable.”