POLITICS
06/24/2011 02:00 pm ET Updated Aug 24, 2011

Libya Funding: House Rejects Bill To Cut Off Funds For U.S. Military Operations

The House voted Friday to reject a bill which would have cut off funds for U.S. military attacks in Libya.

The bill would have barred funds for Libya except for money spent this year on search and rescue, aerial refueling, operational planning, intelligence and surveillance and non-combat missions.

"The fact is the president has not made his case to the members of Congress," House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters earlier this week. "He's not made his case to the American people. We've been in this conflict for 90 days and the president hasn't talked to the American people for four or five weeks about why we're there, what our national interest is and why we should continue."

The bill was a direct response to President Barack Obama's claim that the action does not amount to full-blown hostilities and did not need congressional approval.

Earlier Friday, the House overwhelmingly rejected a measure giving Obama the authority to continue the U.S. military operation against Libya, a major repudiation of the commander in chief.

The vote was 295-123, with Obama losing the support of 70 of his Democrats one day after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton had made a last-minute plea for the mission.

While the congressional action had no immediate effect on American involvement in the NATO-led mission, it was an embarrassment to a sitting president and certain to have reverberations in Tripoli and NATO capitals.

The vote marked the first time since 1999 that either House has voted against a military operation. The last time was over President Bill Clinton's authority in the Bosnian war.

This story is developing...