This week’s news of a resolution from senior Senators to permit military operations in Libya for one year was met with muddled reaction in Congress. The splits within both parties have been preventing clear assertions or definitive action going forward. Today’s WSJ reports that the GOP is bobbing and weaving while trying to determine its actual policy preference.
House Republican leaders on Wednesday abruptly canceled plans to vote Thursday on whether to set limits on U.S. military activities in Libya, following a caucus meeting marked by rifts over how to proceed.
The delay is the latest example of how a restive caucus is making it difficult for House Speaker John Boehner (R., Ohio) to steer a course on U.S. foreign policy. Six months into their control of the House, GOP leaders are being pressed to take tough positions by rank-and-file members, who are frustrated with bills that offer tough words but produce little action.
“You can do resolutions until you’re blue in the face; if they go over to the Senate and they don’t go anywhere, what are we going to do next—are we going to have a resolution saying we really don’t like what the president is doing or are we going to pull the trigger and cut off the faucet, so to speak?” said Rep. Tom Rooney (R., Fla.) after a GOP caucus meeting.
…One resolution would authorize a limited U.S. role in Libya, similar to a measure pushed by Sens. John Kerry (D., Mass.) and John McCain (R., Ariz.). There is little evidence Republicans will vote for it, though. House leaders are also now aiming to bring up a second measure to set funding limits on Libya activities in the current fiscal year, without leaving allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization “in the lurch,” an aide said.
Some Republicans are pushing House leaders to allow a vote on a third option: cutting off funding for the U.S. role in Libya. It isn’t clear whether that will happen.
That’s right. Nothing much is clear yet. Both parties have those who support Obama’s unconstitutional, illegal, unnecessary, and hypocritical war in Libya, those who don’t support it, and those who wish to walk the line by withdrawing their support, but still giving operational control to Obama and NATO. The result is the appearance of a weak-kneed Congress. Meanwhile, King Obama is waging war.