News / USA

US Senate Postpones Libya Vote

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington (file photo)
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington (file photo)
Michael Bowman

The U.S. Senate has postponed voting on a resolution authorizing limited American military involvement in Libya. The move came amid Republican insistence that the chamber focus on a more pressing need: the nation’s impending debt crisis.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid cut short what was supposed to be a weeklong recess this week, forcing lawmakers to return to Washington one day after the U.S. Independence Day holiday. Reid said the lengthy recess could not be justified while negotiations remain deadlocked on raising the federal borrowing limit and averting a possible default on America’s $14 trillion national debt.

But the first item of business scheduled by the Democratic majority leader Tuesday was a procedural vote on continued U.S. participation in the NATO-led campaign over Libya.

Republicans strongly objected. Senator Jeff Sessions of Alabama. “Regardless of how one feels about the Libya resolution, that is not what we need to be doing this week. The president [Barack Obama] has not asked for the Libya resolution. It is not something he cares about, apparently. I will tell you one thing we have to do. We have got to fulfill our responsibility in Congress as the people who control the purse [federal spending]," he said.

A fellow-Republican, Bob Corker of Tennessee, noted that the House of Representatives already voted against authorizing the Libya mission, making Senate action, as he put it, “totally irrelevant”. Corker urged the Senate to focus on America’s debt situation instead. “We are here over the fact that we have huge deficits, and we do not have an agreement to deal with that," he said.

Moments later, Majority Leader Reid canceled the vote on whether to proceed to the Libya resolution. “I’ve spoken with the Republican [minority] leader [Mitch McConnell], and we have agreed, not withstanding the broad support for the Libya resolution, the most important thing for us to focus on this week is the budget," he said.

The resolution would authorize a supporting military role for the United States in Libya for up to a year. It specifies that no U.S. ground forces will be deployed, and that the United States will not bear reconstruction costs in a post-Moammar Gadhafi Libya. The Obama administration has argued that no congressional authorization of the mission is required, but said it would welcome a statement of support from Capitol Hill.

The resolution has been championed by the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, John Kerry, and the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, John McCain. McCain acknowledged the importance of confronting America’s debt situation, but said Libya merits attention, as well. “The Senate does need to have a debate about United States policy and military action in Libya. Whether my colleagues are supportive of what we are doing in Libya or not I think is an issue that needs to be debated on the floor of the Senate," he said.

McCain said congressional upheaval over the Libya resolution could have been avoided if President Barack Obama had sought congressional authorization for the mission months ago.

The resolution would have needed the backing of 60 senators in the 100-member chamber to proceed to a final vote. For now, a vote appears unlikely to be rescheduled before the August 2 deadline for increasing the federal borrowing limit.

You May Like

China’s Influence Grows With New Infrastructure Bank

Multibillion-dollar China-backed and BRICS-supported Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank seen as possible challenger to such lenders as IMF, World Bank More

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

Rabbi Michel Serfaty makes the rounds in his friendship bus to encourage dialogue and break down barriers between the two groups More

Post-deal Iran Leaders Need 'Economic Momentum' to Solidify

Economists say deal could inject more than $100 billion into coffers - not enough to entirely rescue ailing economy - but maybe adequate to create 'economic momentum' More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impacti
X
Michael Bowman
June 28, 2015 10:05 PM
Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video US Gay Marriage Ruling Yields Real-life Impact

Friday’s landmark Supreme Court decision legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the United States is an outcome few thought possible just years ago, and shows a nation that increasingly tolerates and even celebrates the hopes and aspirations of gay people. VOA’s Michael Bowman spoke to a same-sex couple that will benefit from the high court ruling, and to a Christian scholar who is apprehensive about its potential consequences for America’s faith community.
Video

Video Syrians Flee IS Advance in Hasaka

The Syrian government said Monday it has taken back one of several districts in Hasaka overrun by Islamic State militants. But continued fighting elsewhere in the northern city has forced thousands of civilians from their homes. In this report narrated by Bill Rodgers, VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer describes the scene in Amouda, where some of the displaced are taking refuge.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video S. Korea Christians Protest Gay Rights Festival

The U.S. Supreme Court decision mandating marriage equality nationwide has energized gay rights supporters around the world. Gay rights remain a highly contentious issue in a key U.S. ally, South Korea, where police did a deft job Sunday of preventing potential clashes between Christian protesters and gay activists. Kurt Achin reports from Seoul.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Syrian Refugees Return to Tal Abyad

Syrian refugees in Turkey confirm they left their hometown of Tal Abyad because of intense fighting and coalition airstrikes, not because Kurdish fighters were engaged in ethnic cleansing, as some Turkish officials charged. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Zana Omer, in Tal Abyad, finds that civilians coming back to the town agree, as we hear in this report narrated by Roger Wilkison.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.
Video

Video In Syrian Crisis, Social Media Offer Small Comforts

Za’atari, a makeshift city in Jordan, may be the only Syrian refugee camp to tweet its activities, in an effort to keep donors motivated as the war in Syria intensifies and the humanitarian crisis deepens. Inside the camp, families say mobile phone applications help hold together families that are physically torn apart. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Chemical-Sniffing Technology Fights Australia's Graffiti Vandals

Cities and towns all over the world spend huge amounts of resources battling graffiti writers who deface buildings, public transport vehicles and even monuments. Authorities in Sydney, Australia, hope a new chemical-sniffing technology finally will stop vandals from scribbling on walls in the passenger areas of commuter trains. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Cambodia Struggling to Curb Child Labor

Earlier this year a United Nations report found 10 percent of Cambodian children aged 7-14 are working – one of the highest rates in the region – and said one in four children in that age bracket are forced to quit school to help their families. Although the child labor rate has dropped over the past decade, Cambodia has a lot more to do – including keeping more children in school. Robert Carmichael reports for VOA from Phnom Penh.

VOA Blogs