The Obama Administration’s war in Libya has been illegal under US law since May 20, but the House of Representatives decided to give him a 14 day extension anyhow, as a vote largely along party lines saw Rep. John Boehner’s (R – OH) tepid resolution on the conflict pass by a vote of 268-145.
The Boehner Resolution would reiterate the ban on US ground troops in Libya and would give President Obama an additional 14 days to seek Congressional authorization and explain the point of the war. Under the War Powers Act of 1973 the President has 60 days to seek such an authorization, a period which lapsed two weeks ago.
Meanwhile a much stronger resolution from Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D – OH) failed, with a final vote of 148-265. The vote saw a split in both parties. The resolution would have demanded that President Obama immediately move toward ending the US involvement in the war in Libya.
Boehner’s last minute resolution was presented as an alternative to Kucinich’s after the House leadership tried to block Kucinich’s from being considered at all, fearing it had a good chance of passing if considered by itself. After the similar Sherman Amendment narrowly failed yesterday, officials were more bold about letting the resolution come to a vote.
A number of representatives in both parties have expressed serious concern about the decision to launch a war without Congressional authorization. The Obama Administration insists it is confident Congress would approve, if asked.