Friday June 03, 2011 | 02:23 PM


Both of Maine’s House members voted today in favor of two resolutions taking President Obama to task for his handling of U.S. military action in Libya.
Reps. Chellie Pingree, D-1st, and Mike Michaud, D-2nd, were in a minority of Democrats voting for the measures.
One resolution - setting out that Obama did not ask Congress for permission to join in multinational air strikes in Libya and demanding that no U.S. soldiers be put on the ground there, but giving Obama two weeks to report back to Congress as to why the military action in Libya is justified - passed 268-145, though just 45 Democrats joined with 233 Republicans in voting yes.
That resolution actually was a fall back put forward by House leaders trying to give Obama more time on his Libyan policy, since they were afraid without it a resolution calling on the president to halt the action within two weeks would pass. Instead, that resolution failed, 148-265, though again Pingree and Michaud voted yes, along with 59 other Democrats and 87 Republicans.
“I support the establishment of democracy in Libya and would like to see Moammar Gadhafi go,” said Michaud in a statement after the vote. “But as I’ve said before, I object to U.S. military intervention by the President without the approval of Congress. No matter what party the president belongs to, this is an alarming trend in recent years that the War Powers Act was supposed to prevent. In addition to the lack of consultation with Congress, I remain concerned about the costs of these operations and the precedent these actions set.”
Pingree noted in a statement that she has opposed continuing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and wants U.S. troops pulled out of those countries.

“Instead of spending billions of dollars overseas on wars that don’t make America any safer, we should be putting our energy and money into creating jobs and reducing our deficit,” Pingree said.

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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