US Capitol

The House voted this afternoon 295-123 against a measure that would have authorized the President’s military intervention in Libya. As Politico reports:

The House delivered a stinging rejection of President Barack Obama’s military intervention in Libya on Friday, voting in bipartisan fashion against authorizing the mission for another year.

This rebuke is no surprise. Not only had the White House failed to adequately consult Congress, but the President also undertook a doubtful and uncertain strategy committing the U.S. military to a mission not in America’s vital national interests.

A second vote which would essentially cut off funding for the Libya mission failed this afternoon 180-238.

Immediately removing funding would leave our NATO allies in a bind. As Heritage’s Jim Carafano explains:

As frustrating as Obama’s Libya policies are, however, Congress should not immediately terminate funding for the operation, which would force the U.S. to abandon its NATO allies in the middle of a war. Given the commitments already made by the President, Congress should support military operations until the end of the 90-day extension NATO authorized for “Operation Unified Protector” in Libya. Any funding of operations beyond that date should be prohibited unless supported by specific congressional approval. This is an appropriate constitutional action and a clear alternative to invoking the unconstitutional provisions of the War Powers Resolution.

By adopting this course, the U.S. fulfills its obligations to its NATO allies and extricates itself from a failed policy. Furthermore, this allows a sufficiently reasonable amount of time to transition the NATO effort from an inconclusive military operation that could well fail to a road map that offers the best prospects for the future of the Libyan people.

For more suggestions on what Congress and the President should do next, read the rest of our report on “The Way Forward in Libya” here.