House of Representatives Rejected more Funding to War
Posted by Fredsvenn den mai 16, 2008
The Democrat-controlled US House of Representatives has rejected more funding to pay for another year of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House of Representatives just voted 149 to 141 to cut off funding for the war in Iraq. This was followed by votes to put significant restrictions on President Bush’s war policy, including a timeline for withdrawal, and creating a new GI Bill to help returning veterans. This is the strongest vote by the House since the war began in opposition to the President’s war.
Not quite, but this is certainly movement in the right direction.
Today, about 100 House Republicans refused to vote for more war funding, voting ‘present’. They are trying to hand off the war to the Democrats, but even Democrats were able to increase their ‘no’ vote number on funding from 141 to 149; the bill failed. In a separate bill, Republicans also voted against timelines, for torture, and accountability for military contractors, including various elements of a Responsible Plan to End the War in Iraq. This bill passed with 227 votes; last year, it passed with only 218 votes, for a gain of 9.
Finally the GI bill passed with overwhelming margin of 256 votes in the House, including 32 Republicans. It included a war surtax of one half of one percent on people making over $500k a year to pay for the GI bill, at the behest of Blue Dogs. This might actually be the most remarkable piece of the votes today; conservative Democrats agreeing to raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for educational benefits for veterans.
It’s nice to know that Congress has finally discovered it controls the purse-strings, even if it hasn’t figured out how they’re supposed to use them.
We’ve been assured by Matt Stoller that the Senate will put money for Baghdad bullets back in the bill and give the C+ Augustus enough cash to pay for more mayhem in Mesopotamia. I’m not sure how that works since the Constitution states that all revenue bills must originate in the House, not the Senate. But who pays attention to that quaint old document anymore.
All of this is begging another veto by the time it gets to the White House. And of course, that’s all part of the game I guess. The sad reality is that this game costs lives every single day it plays out.