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GOP bill disapproving Libya mission gains steam in the House


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The Hill:

A House Republican is gathering fast support for a resolution expressing disapproval of the U.S. military intervention in Libya, raising the possibility of a rare congressional rebuke of President Obama on foreign policy.

Rep. Michael Turner (R-Ohio) introduced a one-page bill Thursday that says the House “does not approve United States intervention in Libya.” Turner, a member of the Armed Services Committee, has already garnered 63 co-sponsors, he told The Hill, making the legislation a possible alternative to a measure offered by anti-war Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) that would mandate an immediate withdrawal of U.S. forces.

Rising opposition to the Libyan operation has taken GOP leaders by surprise, and they were forced to scrap a vote on the Kucinich bill on Wednesday over concerns it might have passed. Turner will present his alternative, which would not force an abrupt withdrawal, at a special conference meeting Thursday afternoon. Kucinich has also signed on to Turner’s bill.

With concerns about Libya mounting, the Pentagon warned against passage of the Kucinich bill.

"Secretary Gates believes that for the United States, once committed to a NATO operation, to unilaterally abandon that mission would have enormous and dangerous long-term consequences," spokesman Geoff Morrell said in a statement. He did not address Turner's legislation.

Turner said in an interview that his legislation was meant as a “direct response” to President Obama’s May 20 letter to congressional leaders asking for support for the NATO-led Libya mission, which began in March. He said he had concerns about the hard deadline for troop withdrawal included in Kucinich’s bill.

“This resolution answers the president,” Turner said. After extensive hearings on Libya, he said, “we certainly have enough information to know that the president has failed to make the case.”

Antiwar Republican update. This is getting interesting.
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