Congress Avoids Vote on Libya Bill: Concerned "It Would Pass"

Posted: Jun 03, 2011 3:20 PM

Guest post by Nick Freiling

A bill that would have immediately ended US military operations in Libya caused quite a stir on Capitol Hill this morning, as Congressmen (many of whom have spoken out against Obama's war in Libya) were nearly forced to actually vote to end the conflict. Politico reports

Another senior Republican staffer said House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) "is concerned that if this were to come to the floor now, it would pass" and could adversely affect the NATO mission in Libya.

Sounds like something out of the Onion, no? Many House Republicans have been critical of Obama's apparent breach of the War Powers Act (which he is technically in compliance with) in continuing operations in Libya for over 60 days without Congressional action. But when it came to a vote, Speaker Boehner became "concerned that it would pass" and proceeded to evade a vote on the measure.

Regardless of what you think about Obama's war in Libya, I think that the fact that the bill was likely to pass (and in a Republican-controlled Congress, at that) means it ought to have been considered. What is Congress for, anyways? And recent polls have shown that Americans are in favor of giving Congress the last word regarding the US military mission in Libya.

(To make up for evading a vote on this bill, Congress passed a (whimpy) resolution that Rep. Boehner said calls for the President to "provide information" about the goals of US intervention in Libya within 14 days of the resolution's passage.)