Congress drafts bill to defund Libya war

Crew members stand on the deck of the USS Bataan (rear) as tug boatS push her away from the dock to lead the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group out of the Norfolk, Virgina, US Naval Base, March 23, 2011, enroute to waters off Libya (AFP Photo / Paul J. Richards)
Members of the US congress are looking into the possibility of pulling the US out of Libya by preventing US President Barack Obama from spending any money on the operation.

The lawmakers behind the bill argue Obama failed to receive congressional authorization and is essentially waging an unconstitutional war.

Leading the call to defund the mission is Republican Congressman Tim Johnson, who opposes intervening in Libya – even with congressional approval.

"I think this, combined with our presence in Afghanistan and Iraq … just elevates hatred toward America and western democracies, throughout the Middle East. This is just one more nail in the coffin, so to speak," Johnson told The Huffington Post.

He argued there is no threat from Libya to the national security of the US and called Obama a "war-mongering president who's belied everything he stands for and everything we thought we stood for."

Obama contends otherwise, arguing there is a just national interest in intervening and a humanitarian obligation.

“We cannot stand idly by,” argued Obama when he announced the invention in Libya.”Innocent men and women face brutality and death at the hands of their own government.”

The White House has made it clear it means to continue its assault in Libya and has no intention of seeking congressional approval or additional funding. It is estimated the operation will cost more than $100 million in the use of Tomahawk missiles in one day alone.

In addition to Johnson’s proposal which would ban US intervention in Libya and cut funding to the operation, Republican Congressman Ron Paul has also been circulating a resolution aimed at expressing congressional disapproval of Obama’s actions. The measures has bipartisan support, but has not been voted on by the Senate. Another option being explored would be an amendment to a budget bill which would prohibit spending military funds on the Libyan operation.

The White House has not issued any statements in direct regards to Congressional actions seeking to withdraw from Libya.