LOS ANGELES (CBS) — A California congressman said on Friday that America’s role in Libya is more unclear than ever after lawmakers shot down a bill endorsing an expansion of the NATO-led conflict.
Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) voted to endorse the action initiated by President Barack Obama in a “limited” capacity to support coalition troops in the war-torn nation, but said he opposed a second Republican-backed resolution to cut off funding for the operation.
Garamendi told KNX 1070 that the vote shows a sharp divide among lawmakers on Capitol Hill — which makes the future of U.S. involvement in Libya even murkier.
“Now I think there’s pretty much mass confusion as to exactly what happens next,” said Garamendi.
He noted the War Powers Act does not provide specific steps in the event a resolution is not authorized.
Lawmakers are expected to revisit the vote after the Fourth of July holiday.
Despite polls showing more Americans opposing military intervention in Libya, Garamendi defended his vote backing the White House.
“The purpose of the mission was originally and remains today largely based on the United Nations resolution that there’s an obligation to protect people when they are threatened by genocide or by a government that is waging war against people,” said Garamendi.