GOP bill to defund Libya mission picks up another Dem backer

Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-Ohio) has added her name to a growing list of House Democrats urging a halt to the U.S. military's intervention in Libya.

Kaptur, the second-ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, has co-sponsored a Republican bill to defund the Pentagon's Libya operations until Congress authorizes them.

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Sponsored by GOP Rep. Justin Amash (Mich.), the legislation maintains that the U.S. foray into Libya, initiated by President Obama late last month when Congress was on recess, is unconstitutional because it didn't get the legislative branch's stamp of approval.

The White House says immediate action was required to prevent the slaughter of civilians at the hand of forces loyal to longtime Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi.

Democratic leaders in both chambers have endorsed Obama's decision to intervene, but some liberal rank-in-file members have been up in arms. In a floor speech last week, Kaptur accused the president of intentionally sidestepping Congress by waiting until recess to launch the attacks.

"I'm highly concerned that this military intervention took the familiar pattern of launching attacks just when Congress left town to go back to our districts for a week, thus silencing our voices in Congress even more, as this floor was shut down," Kaptur said Wednesday. "How premeditated, and how irresponsible, I believe the current course of events to be."

In addition to Kaptur, Democratic Reps. Michael Capuano (Mass.), Pete Stark (Calif.) and Dennis Kucinich (Ohio) have co-sponsored the Amash bill. Seven Republicans have endorsed the legislation.