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 May Be Biggest Winner From Ukraine Crisis

Missile sales, oil and gas shipments are among many areas that may drive Beijing and Moscow closer together in coming years More

Obama Faces a Chaotic World and the Limits of Power

Current foreign policy issues bring into focus challenges for US policymakers who are mindful of Americans' waning appetite for overseas military engagements More

SADC Meeting Lesotho Officials to Resolve Stalemate

Official says regional bloc has been engaged with leaders in Lesotho to resolve political disagreement that led to coup attempt 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Jewish Ghetto

When the German Nazi army occupied the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered at the Union League Club in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid