On Wednesday, the House agreed to an amendment to the $690 billion defense spending bill that reiterated that Congress has not authorized the war in Libya. Today, they went a step further in barring US ground troops, including contractors, from being sent to Libya.
Today’s vote passed in an overwhelming manner, 416-5. The only 5 representatives who opposed the ban were Reps. Shelley Berkley (D – NV), Steve King (R – IA), Gwen Moore (D – WI), Jim Moran (D – VA), and Dana Rohrabacher (R – CA).
The Obama Administration launched the Libya War on March 19, and informed Congress on March 21 (the following Monday). The war officially became illegal under US law on Friday, May 20, when President Obama failed to secure Congressional authorizations within 60 days. Despite this, the administration does not appear to have any intention of ending the war.
Which leaves open the question of how much impact the new amendment will have. Surely if the president has no qualms about thumbing his nose at the war’s illegality, he will be just as will to shrug off a formal ban on ground troops when he decides it suits his purposes.