House Democrats Buck President Obama On Afghanis
House Democrats Buck President Obama on Afghanistan
President Needs Help From Republicans to Pass War Funding Measure
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July 27, 2010
President Obama is facing something of a Democratic revolt against the war in Afghanistan -- a revolt dramatically on display today as the House debated a $33 billion bill to fund the war.
Some Democrats revolt against the tax dollars spent on the war.Democrat after Democrat came forward not just to oppose the war, but to cut off funding for it.
"Wake up, America. The Wikileak-leaked documents gave us 92,000 reasons to end the war," said Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio.
"It is wrong to be borrowing money from China [and] laying off American police officers to train police officers in Afghanistan," said Rep. Jay Inslee, D-Wash.
Last year, when the House last voted on war funding, 32 Democrats voted no. This evening, that number more than tripled to 102 Democrats voting against funding the war -- a stand lawmakers took even after a last-ditch appeal by the president urging members to vote in favor.
"Now we have to see that strategy through," President Obama said, "to ensure that our troops have the resources they need and that we're able to do what's necessary for our national security."
But many House Democrats were not in lock-step with the White House.
"It is a mistake to give the administration another blank check for the war," said Rep. James McGovern, D-Mass.
"There's nowhere in the constitution that says that the president just gets to go and fight wars without the oversight of the Congress," said Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn. "We are the Congress. It is our job to do our constitutional duty. It is not second-guessing. It is oversight. It is engaging in the process of governance."
Opposition to the war came from some of the top Democrats in Congress, including appropriations chairman David Obey, D-Wis., who voted in favor of war funding the last time around.
"I cannot look my constituents in the eye and say that this operation will hurt our enemies more than it hurts us," Obey said during debate leading up to the vote. "If the Pakistani and Afghan governments were doing half the job that American troops are doing in this war, I wouldn't be worried about supporting this bill. But tragically they aren't, and the biggest favor we can do those troops is to recognize that reality."
In contrast, Democratic supporters of the war kept a low profile, and so did the Democratic leadership. During the debate, neither Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi nor any other Democratic House leader came forward to speak in favor of funding the war.
Republican Votes Help Secure Funding
It was 160 Republicans who made the case for Obama administration's policy on Afghanistan, giving the president the votes he needed to continue funding the war. Only 12 Republicans voted against the war funding.
One House Democrat who had opposed the war funding bill in 2009 flipped to vote in favor of the measure Tuesday. Rep. Brad Sherman, D-Calif., joined 141 other Democrats in voting "yea" to pass the 2010 war supplemental.
ABC News' Avery Miller contributed to this report.
Added: Jul 28 2010 In: news_politics,middle_east
Recorded on: Jul 28 2010
By: marinemom United States