Monday, June 20, 2011

Posturing Congress Likely to Approve Funds for Libya

The House will take up a politically driven bill to cut off funding for the NATO-led air campaign in Libya, but by the time lawmakers are done shadow boxing with themselves they are more likely to approve more money for the rebels -- and here is the rub: It will not be taxpayer dollars.

While an unholy alliance of fiscally conservative Republicans and peacenik Democrats squawk about President Obama's lack of respect for the constitutionally challenged War Powers resolution of 1973, the adults in the Senate will move forward a bill that would allow some of the estimated $30 billion in Moammar Gadhafi's frozen assets to go to the cash-poor Libyan rebels.

The Senate Banking Committee is ready to spring the bill that will help keep the rebel Transitional National Council solvent.

"Under proposed legislation, this assistance could cover the costs of commodities and subsidies needed to maintain basic living conditions among the population—for example, access to water, sanitation, food, shelter, and health care," the State Department said in a statement.

The other member nations of the Contact Group on Libya are trying to slide the rebels some cash, as well, but they have been dragging their feet. The TNC has accused the allies of playing games with their lives by withholding the money it pledged to give them.

Meanwhile, the White House says House Speaker John Boehner's threats to shut down the operation would likely lead to an end to the NATO alliance. The same goes for the lawsuit filed by Boehner's new-found ultra-liberal sidekick, Rep.Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio).

As stated here before on this topic, it is much ado about nothing because even if the measure cleared the House, it would never pass in the Senate, thanks to Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) John McCain (R-Ariz.) Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.).

"At a time when Col. Gadhafi is under great pressure and our allies are bearing a considerable burden of the effort, it would send a bad message to both Gadhafi and to our friends around the world," Carney said. "What we cannot say with precision is which day will be his final day in power. But we do believe his days are numbered."

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