U.S. Congress votes against Libya funding
WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US House of Representatives voted to prohibit the use of funds for American military operations in Libya.
Lawmakers adopted the amendment to a military appropriations bill by a vote of 248 to 163.
A number of members of Congress have recently expressed their dissatisfaction at President Barack Obama’s decision to go ahead with operations in Libya in March and to continue without congressional authorization.
The amendment, introduced by Democratic representative Brad Sherman from California, invokes the War Powers Resolution, a 1973 law that limits presidential powers on sending troops abroad into combat zones without the consent of Congress.
Sherman’s text states that “none of the funds made available by this act may be used in contravention of the War Powers Act.”
According to the War Powers Resolution, the president must seek congressional authorization to send US troops into combat and must withdraw American forces within 60 days if Congress has not authorized the military action.
The same measure was presented in another bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security but failed to pass on June 2.
Lawmakers must still approve the appropriations bill as a whole and the measure must still be approved by the Senate.
The White House has been under rising pressure from congressional critics demanding details about US goals in Libya and questioning the likely costs and duration of the campaign, in which Washington now has a supporting role.
The House of Representatives recently passed a symbolic resolution chiding Obama for not seeking congressional approval for US involvement in Libya and giving him until June 17 to respond.