U.S. House votes to defund war in Libya

In a major vote that no one seems to be talking about, the U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday to defund and end the war in Libya, unless President Barack Obama decides to follow the War Powers Act -- which requires Obama to get congressional approval within 60 days of launching a military action. 

The amendment, introduced by U.S. Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Calif.), to a military funding bill passed convincingly, by a vote of 248-163. 

"Why is this amendment necessary?" Sherman asked on the floor of the House. "Because so many administrations have embraced the idea of an imperial presidency. They've embraced the idea that a United States president can send our forces into battle for an unlimited duration, unlimited in scope and for whatever purposes the executive branch finds worthy. ... This president, like some others, believes that he doesn't have to follow the law. ... The president has been in violation of the War Powers Act for several weeks now." 

In an interview with Rachel Maddow last night, Sherman called the vote "interesting."

"We had 60 percent of the Democrats, 60 percent of the Republicans and zero percent of the top leadership of either party voting with us," Sherman said. "... The War Powers Act is the law and it ought to be followed." 

Sherman also pointed out that the U.S. has seized $33 billion from Muammar Gaddafi's 
American investments, but instead of using that money to fund the war, the government is using taxpayer money. 

The bill would still need to pass the U.S. Senate to become law, but the House yesterday stood up for the law. It's a vote that deserves more attention. 

• Here's Sherman talking on the floor of the U.S. House: 


• Sherman talks about the vote with Rachel Maddow:

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