House Narrowly Rejects Defunding of Libya War

Vote on Defunding 'Equipment, Training' Passes

Key House of Representative amendments related to the war in Libya, to be inserted into the Department of Defense Appropriations Act came today, and as with past votes showed a strong split in both parties on the illegal conflict.

A broader bipartisan amendment from Reps. Amash (R – MI) and Kucinich (D – OH) narrowly failed, with a vote of, 199-229. That amendment would have barred the use of any funds for the war in any capacity. This vote was overwhelmingly opposed by Democrats, but saw a split among Republicans.

Still, the Cole (R – OK) Amendment, a less ambitious version, managed to pass, which prohibits any funding for equipment, training or advice related to the Libya War in the bill. The amendment was overwhelmingly supported by Republicans, but few Democrats. The vote was 225-201.

President Obama has argued he doesn’t need congressional approval for the war because, in his estimation, it doesn’t count as hostilities. He has also insisted that questioning the legality of the conflict under the War Powers Act amounts to “defending” Moammar Gadhafi. This claim about “hostilities” and legality was the opposite of the opinion he got from both Justice Department and Pentagon lawyers. The war began on March 19 and was officially in violation of the War Powers Act starting on May 20.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.