US lawmakers censure Obama’s Libya mission | Pakistan Today

US lawmakers censure Obama’s Libya mission

In a symbolic but scathing rebuke to President Barack Obama, the US House of Representatives on Friday rejected a resolution authorising US military action in Libya, and also beat back an effort to cut funding for direct US strikes on Libyan strongman Moamer Gaddafi’s forces. Lawmakers voted 123-295 to defeat the measure and moved to take up a companion resolution aimed at sharply reducing the US role in NATO-led, UN-mandated operations against Libyan strongman Moamer Kadhafi’s forces.
About 70 of the White House’s Democratic allies broke with Obama to defeat the measure after a bitter debate shaped by the US public’s deep war-weariness after a decade of overseas conflicts, notably in Afghanistan and Iraq. Just eight Republicans backed the resolution, as members of both parties angrily denounced Obama’s decision not to seek congressional permission for the US role in the conflict as required under the 1973 War Powers Act. With the conflict near the 100-day mark, the lawmakers angrily condemned Obama for ignoring that law and stressed that the US Constitution reserves to Congress the right to declare war.
The lawmakers also voted 238-180 to defeat a resolution that would have denied money to drone attacks and bombings while backing US operations in support of NATO-led efforts there for one year. The move came as the House of Representatives defied a last-ditch appeal from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and a warning from NATO. Clinton Thursday met behind closed doors with House Democrats to urge them not to tie the administration’s hands.
“I, myself, believe the president has the latitude to do what he is doing as long as there are no boots on the ground,” Democratic House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters. “But I also always say that consultation strengthens the resolve of our country, and the more consultation the better,” she added. “The president is becoming an absolute monarch, and we must put a stop to that right now if we don’t want to become an empire instead of a republic,” said Democratic Representative Jerrold Nadler as debate opened.
Earlier, Republican House Speaker John Boehner told reporters on Thursday, “I don’t want to do anything that would undermine NATO or to send a signal to our allies around the world that we are not going to be engaged.” The White House, meanwhile, said it was disappointed by the mixed message sent by a House of Representatives vote rejecting a resolution authorizing US military action in Libya. “We are disappointed by that vote. We think that now is not the time to send the kind of mixed message that it sends,” White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters aboard Air Force One.

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