U.S. lawmakers are split over President Barack Obama's decision to take military action in Libya without getting congressional approval. Some of them are threatening to cut off funding for America's participation in NATO's bombing campaign.
That prospect has lit a fire of its own.
"The president did a lousy job of communicating and managing our involvement in Libya, but I will be no part of an effort to defund Libya or to try to cut off our efforts to bring (Libyan leader Moammar) Gadhafi down," U.S. Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-South Carolina, said on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday.
You can question the motivation of some lawmakers who are attacking Obama for the U.S. bombing of Libya.
For instance, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, in 1995 voted to repeal the 1973 War Powers Resolution, the law that requires the president to get congressional approval for sending U.S. forces to war. In 1999, Boehner called the resolution "constitutionally suspect." Now, Boehner is arguing Obama violated it with his actions in Libya.
But it's not so easy to question the motivations of U.S. Rep. Walter Jones of North Carolina.
Well, you can: It's a free country, and he'd probably welcome it. But you're better off spending your time some other way.
He's a Republican, yes. He's a conservative, yes. But mostly, he's driven - not to go after a Democratic president, but to pursue the beliefs that got burned into him with the war in Iraq.
Click the audio player to hear this story from CNN Radio's Libby Lewis:
CNN spoke with him at his office recently on Capitol Hill.
"I take war very seriously. I've not been to war," Jones said.
Jones has been in Congress for 17 years. He knows Obama is hardly the first president to argue the War Powers Resolution doesn't apply here. Think of Grenada. Somalia. Kosovo. The Iraq surge. Afghanistan.
"No, but I really think this has been building over the last 35 years, and this is the icing on the cake," Jones said. "This just - this did it.”
He and nine other lawmakers, including a couple of Democrats, sued the president. They want a judge to order him to stop U.S. military actions in Libya.
If history holds, they don’t have much of a chance. So far, every attempt by lawmakers to challenge the president in court over the War Powers Resolution has failed.
Jones is choosing not to look at history.
The constitution gives the president broad powers to go to war. It gives Congress the power to declare wars – and to fund them. But there’s a lot of grey in between.
In 1973, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution to prevent another Vietnam War, in which three presidents committed U.S. troops without getting Congress' approval.
White House press secretary Jay Carney summed up Obama's view that the United States' actions in Libya aren't even "hostilities," much less war.
"U.S. operations do not involve a number of elements traditionally associated with hostilities, including sustained fighting or active exchanges of fire with hostile forces," Carney told reporters last week.
To that, Walter Jones says: "Well, we're killing people over there. There's no question. You cannot drop bombs without killing people."
The words of an anti-war liberal? Hardly. His district is home to Camp Lejeune, one of the largest Marine Corps bases.
Jones is the congressman who coined the term "Freedom Fries," a rebuke of France for its opposition to the 2003 invasion of Iraq. And he voted to authorize the use of force in Iraq.
It's not quite right to say that vote haunts him now, but you can see it in his eyes - it drives him. He calls it his "mistake."
In 2006, Jones said this:
"I went to Walter Reed (Army Medical Center) Monday. I saw three soldiers. One lost his leg. He's from Ohio. The other one is from my district, 23 years old; he will never walk again. He's paralyzed. I had an opportunity to see his daddy as well. Then the last soldier I visited, Eric, from New Mexico, his mom was there. He had been shot through the helmet in the head."
Jones was talking then about Congress doing its duty regarding war, not just cutting the checks.
"We owe the American people, and certainly those troops who are on the ground in Iraq, that we in Congress are not sleeping on this issue; there are those of us in both parties that want to meet our constitutional responsibility, and that is to discuss and debate the present and the future of our commitment in Iraq."
Jones' turnaround on the Iraq war made him unpopular back home for a long time, and some say it stymied his political career.
Today, the walls in his office are covered with photographs of the men and women who have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their children. The posters of their faces are stacked up inches deep, leaning against the wall.
"I realize my mistake of voting to give President Bush authority to go into Iraq," he said last week. "I've signed over 10,000 letters to families. That was my penance to God for not following my conscience. My conscience told me that I was not convinced that Saddam had brought down the (World Trade Center) towers. I don't blame anybody for that but myself."
But Jones says he cannot stay silent in any case where a president - any president - starts a military action when you don't know when, or how, it will end.
So he joined the group of lawmakers that sued. And if they lose? Well, if they lose, Walter Jones will have made his point - one more time.