That Washington

WA Republican Delegation in D.C. Questions Mission in Libya. WA Democrats Stand by Obama

By Josh Feit June 3, 2011

It looks like liberal U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), who's thinking of running for congress in Washington State when his Ohio seat gets redistricted out of existence, doesn't have any allies in the Washington State delegation—at least not on the resolution he proposed today calling on President Obama to withdraw from Libya.

His resolution lost 265-148 today with Washington State's entire delegation, five Democrats and four Republicans, voting 'No.'

[pullquote]The Washington State delegation split along party lines on legislation calling on President Obama to provide a clear plan to congress about the objective of the military mission.[/pullquote]Our delegation split along party lines, though, on a second Libya measure—an alternative to Kucinich's measure offered by Speaker Rep. John Boehner (R-OH)—calling on President Obama to provide a clear plan to congress about the objective of the military mission.

Rep. Bohener's measure passed 268-145 with all five Washington State Democrats voting 'No' and all four Republicans voting 'Yes.'

Here's the New York Times story on the votes.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA, 2), a member of the house armed services committee, issued the following statement after the vote:
The Kucinich resolution requires the removal of all U.S. operational support provided to NATO for operations in Libya within 15 days. This would halt the progress NATO forces are making toward ending the humanitarian crimes and illegal acts being committed by the Gaddafi regime.

Speaker Boehner’s resolution ignores this national security interest and argues that there has been little information from the Administration to Congress.  While I joined many of my colleagues in expressing disappointment that the President did not do as good a job of informing Congress prior to the start of U.S. military activity in Libya, since that time the Administration has briefed Congress 38 times and the President and Defense Secretary Gates have provided details on the issue.  To argue otherwise is simply false.

Both of these resolutions only serve to undermine our efforts, sending the wrong message to our allies in NATO and the Arab communities.  The U.S., acting in concert with our NATO allies, continues to act in a supporting role – with no boots on the ground, no direct leadership, and providing unique assets.  I continue to support that role.

A few years ago, the Majority practiced no oversight of President Bush’s military actions; instead they conducted overlook. Now that President Obama is Commander-in-Chief, Speaker Boehner and House Republicans are playing political games with the role of Congressional oversight.
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