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House opposes aid to Libyan rebels

July 8, 2011 at 2:57 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 8 (UPI) -- The House has voted to ban direct U.S. aid for the Libyan rebels while allowing funding for NATO's intervention.

The amendment to the military appropriations bill, introduced by Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., passed 225-201 Thursday, with 48 Democrats joining 177 Republicans, the Los Angeles Times reported.

It forbids the use of funds to "furnish military equipment, military training or advice, or other support for military activities" to groups such as the rebels fighting Moammar Gadhafi.

"In Libya, the president has quite simply overreached," Cole said, and it is time to "end this ill-advised adventure."

Another amendment, moved by Reps. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio, and Justin Amash, R-Mich., would have explicitly blocked deploying U.S. forces in the NATO mission. It failed 229-199, but most Republicans voted for it.

The full defense bill passed the House Friday.

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., co-sponsor of a Senate resolution supporting limited use of force in Libya subject to congressional authorization, called the Cole amendment "deeply disturbing."

"I am saddened by the abandonment of America's traditional support for those struggling for freedom and democracy, which has been a hallmark of our Republican Party for decades," he said.

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