Delegation divided over Libya funding, authorization

Connecticut’s all-Democratic U.S. House delegation split in this afternoon’s vote on whether to authorize the American military campaign in Libya.

Reps. Rosa DeLauro and Joe Courtney, of the 2nd and 3rd districts respectively, both supported a resolution Friday to authorize the “limited” use of American armed forces to support the NATO mission in Libya.

Reps. John Larson, Jim Himes, and Chris Murphy-of the 1st, 4th and 5th districts-all voted against that measure, which would have essentially endorsed President Barack Obama’s decision to launch a military campaign-in coordination with NATO-in Libya. The authorization measure was defeated, 295-to-123, in a significant, if symbolic, rebuke to President Barack Obama for his handling of the Libya conflict.

The House also killed a competing bill to cut off most of the funding for U.S. combat operations in Libya.

Himes and Murphy were the only two lawmakers in the delegation to vote in favor of that measure, which would have cut off money for offensive operations, like missile strikes, but preserved money for supportive efforts, such as collecting intelligence and conducting operational planning for NATO. Larson, Courtney, and DeLauro all voted against that proposal.

Neither measure had a chance of Senate passage.