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Labrador and Simpson Split in House Vote to Rebuke Libya Campaign

In a sharp rebuke of Obama's policy on Libya, the U.S. House rejected a measure authorizing military action against Muammar Gaddafi for another year.


Idaho congressmen split Friday on a U.S. House vote which ultimately rejected a resolution to grant President Obama's authority for military intervention in Libya for another year.

Rep. Mike Simpson joined the majority of Republicans in voting for the measure, but Rep. Raul Labrador joined 88 Republicans and the majority of Democrats in voting against the resolution.

The vote was 123 to 295, with dozens of Democrats joining Republicans in voting against the resolution, which would have given permission for a "limited" operation for one year. It would not have allowed for U.S. ground troops in Libya.

And in a further rebuke of Obama's policy on Libya, lawmakers are now considering a resolution that would cut off some funds for the military operation, USA Today reports.

According to Politico, Republicans — and some Democrats —argued against authorizing the Libya mission along one of two main lines:

that the United States should not be engaged in Libya and that the president failed to seek congressional consent under the War Powers Act.

"The president has ignored the Constitution and the War Powers Resolution, but he cannot ignore a lack of funding," Rep. Tom Rooney (R-Fla.) said, USA Today reports. "Only Congress has the power to declare war and the power of the purse, and my bill exercises both of those powers by blocking funds for the war in Libya unless the president receives congressional authorization."

According to Politico, Obama had concluded that U.S. action in Libya, including missile strikes, did not constitute “hostilities” and therefore did not require him to get consent from Congress.

The rejection of the resolution is not likely to force any change in Obama’s course in Libya, writes David A. Fahrenthold in the Washington Post.

"In fact, the president has already said he does not need Congress’s permission — which means, by his reasoning, Friday’s first vote was academic."