WASHINGTON — The House on Friday rebuked President Barack Obama for failing "to provide Congress with a compelling rationale" for the military campaign in Libya, but stopped short of demanding he withdraw U.S. forces from the fight.
By a vote of 257-156, the House approved a resolution that criticized Obama for not seeking congressional authorization for the 76-day-old campaign against Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
The resolution would give Obama 14 more days to convince Congress the attacks against Gadhafi are justified by U.S. interests.
The House rejected, by a vote of 265-148, a more drastic measure from one of the fixtures of antiwar sentiment in the House, Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio. That resolution would have demanded Obama pull out of the Libyan operation within 15 days.
"This resolution puts the president on notice. He has a chance to get this right," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, author of the resolution that passed. "If he doesn't … we will make it right." The resolution passed with the support of 45 Democrats and all but 10 of the Republicans who were present.
Obama ordered U.S. forces to join the international operation against Gadhafi on March 19. The operation is now led by NATO, but it relies heavily on American forces.
Many legislators said they were concerned that Obama had missed a deadline set by the 1973 War Powers Resolution. That Nixon-era law requires presidents to obtain congressional authorization for a foreign military operation within 60 days or withdraw. White House officials have said their operation is legal and point out that they are regularly consulting with Congress.