White House blasts Libya defunding vote

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, June 21, 2011
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The White House on Monday blasted Congress for threatening to defund the military mission in Libya, saying it sends a "bad message."

White House Spokesman Jay Carney made the remarks during his regular briefing session, saying Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi is "under great pressure and our allies are bearing a considerable burden of the effort, it would send a bad message to both Gaddafi and our friends around the world on the funding issue, to have a vote like that."

The comment came as lawmakers are considering legislations that would limit the mission in Libya or cut its funding. Anti-war Democrat Dennis Kucinich has said he will offer an amendment to the upcoming Defense Appropriations bill to cut off funds for U.S. participation in Libya mission. Republicans, on the other hand, are expected to offer a narrower bill that defunds the use of unmanned aerial drones in Libya.

According to U.S. constitution, Congress has the right to declare wars. The 1973 War Powers Act prohibits U.S. armed forces from being involved in military actions for over 60 days, with a 30-day withdrawal period, without an authorization of the use of military force or a declaration of war. Congress members have been demanding the administration to seek approval for continued participation in the conflict.

The White House continued to argue U.S. military's support role in Libya does not meet the threshold set by the War Powers Act, and therefore requires no Congressional approval.

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