A Republican congressman who supports a cut in funding for the U.S. led military campaign in Libya says a meeting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton held with House Democrats seeking their support for the mission was political and misguided.
Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., has introduced legislation to end U.S. involvement in Libya and his measure is set for a vote Friday. He is a member of the House Armed Services and Intelligence Committees and argues the administration is wrong to meet only with Democrats when there has been bipartisan support for stopping the flow of money for the mission.
"I think that it's completely inappropriate that at the eleventh hour the secretary of state meets with Democrats only on the issue of whether they should or shouldn't vote for continued operations in Libya," Rooney told Fox News. "She should have been at the Foreign Relations committee three months ago convincing Republicans and Democrats alike that this was an important thing to do, not in a political way to just get Democrats to think twice about voting against continuing in Libya."
The White House insists that since NATO leads the mission to oust Libyan leader Muammar Qadaffi, it doesn't need congressional approval for continued U.S. involvement. But whether or not the mission is legal under the War Powers Act, Congress can still end the operation by pulling its funding. He says Clinton should have made the case for continued funding to both Republicans and Democrats.
"Her responsibility is to make the case why Libya is important to both sides of the aisle," Rooney said. "This really hasn't taken on a partisan flair to it in the House of Representatives. You've got guys like me and (Rep. Dennis) Kucinich voting together, and for her to exclude Republicans and come in at the 11th hour, I think it's inappropriate, it's political, but it exemplifies how the administration has played this."
Fox News Senior House Producer Chad Pergram contributed to this report.