This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Louis Gohmert (R-TX) that would have prohibited funds provided by a Defense Department funding bill from being used to support any military operations in Libya. This amendment was offered to legislation providing annual funding for Defense Department programs in fiscal year 2012.
Gohmert urged support for his amendment: “We have here a case where people on both sides recognize that the President moved forward and put our military in harm's way to go after a man who until March 1 was recognized by the United Nations as being a leader in human rights. In fact, it had elected him in 2003 to be the chairman of the Human Rights Commission of the U.N. We also know from our office's inquiry of our own military that we comprise 65 percent of NATO's military. So it is not comforting to think that this president has already gone beyond seizing on loopholes and is just ignoring laws in order to do what he wants because the Arab League asked him--not Congress, not the population of the United States, but the Arab League and some in NATO.”
Rep. Bill Young (R-FL) opposed Gohmert’s amendment: “We're already there [in Libya]. We're already in the area. We're already flying missions. If this amendment should be agreed to, here is what we would not be able to do: We could not fly search and rescue missions for a downed pilot. We could not do ISR--Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance. We could not do aerial refueling for our coalition partners. We could not even be part of operational planning under this amendment.”
The House rejected Gohmert’s amendment by a vote of 162-265. Voting “yea” were 129 Republicans and 33 Democrats. 156 Democrats—including a majority of progressives—and 109 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have prohibited funds provided by a Defense Department funding bill from being used to support any military operations in Libya.