The House of Representatives voted today on two resolutions regarding the United States's involvement in Libya. One resolution, sponsored by Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, stated the United States must cease its involvement in conflict within 15 days. The measure failed 148 to 265, but managed to get 87 Republican votes, a large number of them from the Midwest.
Some prominent conservatives voting for the Kucinich amendment included Michele Bachmann of Minnesota and Allen West of Florida. But Mike Pence of Indiana and Paul Ryan of Wisconsin voted "no." Ryan was the only member from either party of the Wisconsin delegation to vote against the Kucinich amendment.
The resolution introduced by John Boehner passed 268 to 145, with only 10 Republicans voting "no." The measure rebukes the president for not seeking congressional authorization, forbids the use of ground troops except for rescue missions, and calls for the president to issue a report within two weeks defining U.S. objectives in Libya. It reads, in part:
"The President has failed to provide Congress with a compelling rationale based upon United States national security interests for current United States military activities regarding Libya.
"The President shall not deploy, establish, or maintain the presence of units and members of the United States Armed Forces on the ground in Libya unless the purpose of the presence is to rescue a member of the Armed Forces from imminent danger."
While House leadership wanted to avoid a vote on Libya, the War Powers Act would have allowed Dennis Kucinich to block business until his amendment was voted on. As The Hill reports, "The Libya issue rapidly bubbled back to the surface after Kucinich invoked the 1973 War Powers Resolution to fast-track his legislation to the House floor. Though they could have waited another week, Republican leaders scheduled the Kucinich measure for a vote on Wednesday, only to scrap it when they learned it might have enough support to pass."
Boehner's resolution was offered in order to "draw support from Kucinich’s proposal while satisfying the desire of Republicans to register their disapproval of Obama and force the White House to answer Congress’s many questions about the mission."