House Republicans plan votes this week to restrict Libya mission
June 20th, 2011
05:49 PM ET
11 years ago

House Republicans plan votes this week to restrict Libya mission

Washington (CNN)- With bipartisan frustration mounting in Congress over the president's handling of military action in Libya, House Republican leaders are planning to hold votes this week to use the power of the purse to limit the mission.

House GOP sources tell CNN that one potential option is a vote to prohibit funding for any ground troops in Libya. Though there are no U.S. ground troops currently committed there, the House GOP sources say this would be one way to prevent the mission from escalating, and at the same time give lawmakers a chance to express their unhappiness.

The Republican sources say that is one of several options GOP leaders are considering for votes this week, likely Thursday. They underscore that no decisions will be made until top GOP lawmakers return Tuesday from a long weekend in their districts.

"Ultimately [the legislation] needs to have enough teeth for it to be to worth it," said one senior House GOP aide.

The House was already planning to take up the FY 2012 Defense spending bill this coming week, and lawmakers like Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, plan to push a measure to cut off funding for the Libya mission.

The GOP sources say they're likely to hold a separate Libya vote or votes before the House debates the Defense bill, in large part to allow lawmakers to channel their displeasure into legislation that doesn't go as far as Kucinich's.

A growing number of House Republicans as well as Democrats were already upset that President Obama did not seek Congressional authorization for the Libya mission, which they believe is required under the War Powers Act. The White House argued last week in a report to Congress that military action is so limited that it doesn't need Congressional authorization.

But House GOP sources say rank and file who disagree with that are now even more upset since the New York Times reported Saturday that a lead attorney for the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel as well as Counsel at the Pentagon argued internally that the president does in fact need Congressional authorization for the Libya mission, and the president overruled them.

To be sure, despite growing frustration over Libya lawmakers in both parties are still divided over how far Congress should go with regard to the Libya mission.

While many oppose the president's handling of Libya and want to withdraw U.S. support, others worry about holding a vote that could have a negative impact on US relationships with other countries.

"A lot of people were worried if we abandoned the mission we'd be letting down allies abroad and that was a major problem," the aide said.

One of the GOP sources pointed out that the Republican leadership is facing the same dilemma it did earlier this month when Kucinich was pushing a resolution that would have withdrawn all U.S. forces from the Libya mission.

To prevent that from passing, House Speaker John Boehner was forced to counter with a watered down version that gave the president two weeks to send Congress information justifying the U.S. strategy in Libya.

Filed under: House Republicans • Libya
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Dennis Kucinich is losing the district he represents which means he'll be losing a job and looking for support anyway the little man can get it. They should give Kucinich Boehner's job because he's no better.

    June 20, 2011 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  2. ShortSweet

    Shouldn't be there in the first place. Bring our troops home and let them fight their own battles. Waste of time, resources, money .... and most of all our national treasure OUR MILITARY.

    June 20, 2011 06:22 pm at 6:22 pm |
  3. once upon a horse

    well since the GOP has flip/flopped on practically everything it once supported before Obama supported it too, why is it no shock that now they are no longer in favor of military action? These same GOPers were whining that Obama was acting too slow on Libya and Egypt so once he does act, taking away that "soft on terror" label they tried to stick on him It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see their plan against ANYTHING this president is for even if it goes against things we normally support.

    June 20, 2011 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  4. Randal

    Where were these hypocrites when W escalated Iraq on bogus WMD claims? Oh I forgot, Repubss don't criticize Rebubs. Welcome to the bizarre world of Teapublican thought.

    June 20, 2011 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  5. D-Nice

    Isn't Libya a NATO mission? If NATO engages in a military action aren't we obligated to participate? The republicans might as well just vote to remove us from NATO while they're at it.

    June 20, 2011 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  6. C. Howe Yulikit

    Same people who screamed bloody murder to anyone who dared question GWB on his invasion of Iraq? Why do the Republicans hate freedom?

    June 20, 2011 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. Republicans - The "Not Intended To Be Factually Accurate" Party

    It is amazing that President Obama can get these partisan Republicans to vote against Defense spending
    simply by being for it.

    If Obama said that the sky was blue, I can`t help but think the GOP would say it was Yellow.

    June 20, 2011 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  8. steven harnack

    While they're at it why don't vote to withhold funding for Klingon and Romulan weapons systems? Apparently there is nothing that is actually happening that needs their attention.

    June 20, 2011 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  9. annie s

    Gee. Now Republicans even say "no" to things that haven't even happened, Who voted for these turkeys!

    June 20, 2011 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  10. Indy

    if only the Republicans had a brain !! They sure as heck did fool people on that job promise and made the voters look like fools for letting them back in on their promise of JOBS ! JOBS ! JOBS !

    June 20, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  11. Clwyd

    Sure let bush act in Afghanistan and Iraq and then take the votes. Now the republican'ts want a vote to make Obama look bad. I'm not for the wars of any kind, but this double republican standard is too obvious political!

    June 20, 2011 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |