The day President Bush told the press corp that the Iraq War was certain to get more “bloody,” the US Congress and Senate passed a $100 billion Iraq War funding bill. What makes this bill different from the one Bush vetoed on May 1 is there is no withdrawal time table-a win for Bush who has been battling the Democratic-held chambers against any pull-out plans.Two items that made the bill more palatable to Democratic officials who voted for the Iraq funding bill was a raise in the minimum wage and about $20 million earmarked for farm disaster coverage and various social programs. The funding bill also included a set of standards for the Iraqi government to meet in forming a more democratic society, but Bush can continue to pour money into the war regardless of what the Iraqi government may fail to accomplish.
Although Democrats in both houses voted to fund the war, many are declaring the fight for troop withdrawals from Iraq has just begun.
An example of the Democratic complaint from a Rep. John Salazar press release:
I will vote in support of this measure because it provides funding for our soldiers fighting in Iraq and provides better health care for our veterans and military families. However, I believe that we must begin to bring our troops home as soon as it is realistically possible. The American people have spoken and they want change. We cannot continue to stay the course of a failed policy.
Colorado’s delegation vote:
Senators Salazar and Allard: Yes
Representatives Udall, Salazar, Musgrave, Lamborn and Tancredo: Yes
DeGette: Did not vote
The final vote tally:
The 280-142 roll call Thursday by which the House passed an Iraq war spending bill.
A yes vote is a vote to pass the bill.
Voting yes were 86 Democrats and 194 Republicans.
Voting no were 140 Democrats and two Republicans
The 80-14 roll call Thursday by which the Senate passed an Iraq war spending bill.
Voting “yes” were 37 Democrats, 42 Republicans and 1 independent.
Voting “no” were 10 Democrats, 3 Republicans and 1 independent
The presidential candidates in the Senate and House voted:
Democratic: Senators Hillary Clinton: No; Barack Obama: No; Chris Dodd: No; Joe Biden: Yes; Rep. Kucinich: No
Republican: Sen. John McCain: Yes; Sen. Sam Brownback: Did not vote; Rep. Ron Paul: No; Rep. Duncan Hunter: Yes; Rep. Tom Tancredo: Yes
Pres. Bush is expected to sign the bill today (Friday.)
Read today’s Political Gravy for more comments from Colorado’s elected officials.