WASHINGTON, D.C. Two congressmen who represent northeast Indiana leveled criticism at President Obama as they voted against a measure authorizing the use of force in Libya Friday.
In a repudiation of their commander in chief, House members rejected a measure to authorize the Libya mission for a year. The vote was 295 to 123. Congressmen Mike Pence and Marlin Stutzman joined their colleagues in rejecting H.J. Res. 68 and issued the following statements on it:
Rep. Mike Pence , Indiana 6th District
“I endeavor always to maintain the proper level of deference and respect due the commander in chief in matters of war, but I opposed the Hastings Resolution because for more than 90 days this administration has refused to come to the Congress to seek authorization for the use of force in Libya. I cannot support an afterthefact effort by members of Congress who seek to justify the president’s use of force in Libya.”
“If the president believes that continued U.S. military action in Libya is proper, he must come to the Congress and the American people to seek authority to proceed.”
Rep. Marlin Stutzman , Indiana 3rd District
“ The White House hasn’t made a convincing argument that involvement in Libya is in America’s best interest. So far, the administration has only said ‘just trust us.’ Well, I’m not about to take a leap of faith when it comes to sending our military into harm’s way. If the commander in chief wants to intervene in North Africa, he needs to step up to the plate and let the American people know what his plan is.”
Both congressmen also voted against H.R. 2278, a resolution that would prohibit funding for U.S. military operations in Libya with certain exceptions.
“I cannot and will not cut off funding to our troops in the field,” said Pence. “Once American military personnel are engaged in hostilities, this Congress has an obligation to stand by our troops and do everything in our power to make sure our soldiers have the resources they need to get the job done and come home safe.”
H.R. 2278 also failed to pass the House by a vote of 238 to 180.