House passes another Libya rebuke of Obama

The House approved Monday an amendment designed as another symbolic rebuke of President Obama over the Libya campaign.

The amendment, authored by Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), was added to a bill that funds military construction and the Department of Veterans Affairs. It says that none of the money in the bill can be spent “in contravention of the War Powers Act.”

That 1973 law requires the president to obtain congressional authorization after sending troops into combat. The deadline for that authorization passed last month without action from Congress.

The amendment passed the House on a 248 to 163 vote. It’s unclear how this provision — if approved by the Senate — would affect real-world spending. The White House has indicated it does not believe Obama has violated the law.

The House already passed a resolution rebuking Obama, and giving him 14 days to make the case for the Libya campaign and to explain U.S. goals there. Those answers are expected this week.

David A. Fahrenthold covers Congress for the Washington Post. He has been at the Post since 2000, and previously covered (in order) the D.C. police, New England, and the environment.
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