US Lawmakers Reject Measured to Support Libya Mission

Posted June 24th, 2011 at 12:55 pm (UTC-5)
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The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives has rejected a measure authorizing ongoing U.S. military action in Libya.

The vote of 295 to 123 has no immediate effect on the U.S. role on the NATO-led operation in the country, but is rather a direct criticism of President Barack Obama.

House lawmakers will vote later Friday on a competing resolution that would cut off funding for U.S. military attacks in Libya. The measure would allow U.S. forces to remain engaged in non-hostile actions in the campaign against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's forces. Such actions would include search and rescue efforts, intelligence, surveillance and refueling.

Both Republicans and Democrats are angry with the president for failing to seek congressional authorization to intervene in Libya.

Some lawmakers accuse Mr. Obama of violating the 1973 War Powers Resolution, which requires congressional approval when U.S. forces are involved in hostilities. But Mr. Obama says the three-month-old Libya campaign does not constitute “hostilities,” so congressional approval is not needed.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met privately with House Democrats Thursday in a last-ditch effort to garner support for the Libya mission.

Mr. Gadhafi vowed this week to continue fighting and denounced NATO for airstrikes that caused civilian casualties.