Rep. Sherman forces Thursday vote on War Powers Act amendment

"The respect that the Executive Branch has for Congress has called upon them to hide their contempt for the law," he continued. "And so they implied, without really stating it, that there are substitutes for a congressional authorization. They've implied that resolutions by the United Nations, the Arab League or NATO is a substitute for congressional action. And they've implied that consulting with congressional leaders, a lunch with leadership, is a substitute for an affirmative vote on the floors of both houses.

"It is time for us to stand up and say, no, Mr. President, you have to actually have to follow the law," he concluded.

Sherman said an amendment to the DHS bill is an appropriate way to send a message to the White House because if it were only attached to a Defense Department bill, the Executive Branch might be able to find ways around it by moving funds between various departments.

"We should not invite an unproductive loophole hunt," he said.

Sherman added that if the language could be attached to all appropriations bills, it might force the White House to work with Congress, possibly on some limited form of authorization for continued operations in Libya.

"This amendment vote is not about democracy and rule of law in Libya," he said. "This vote about deem and rule of law in the United States."

Reps. Robert Aderholt (R-Ala.), David Price (D-NC) and Norm Dicks (D-Wash.) all said they oppose the amendment, but Sherman asked for a recorded vote nonetheless.

The expected Thursday vote will come in a week where House Republican leaders postponed a planned vote on a resolution from Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) that would call on the administration to withdraw all troops from Libya.