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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

[haw-info] Update: 2013 Defense Appropriations Bill

Update: 2013 Defense Appropriations Bill
 
Thanks to folks who made the calls!
 
There were a long list of amendments to this bill, most of which were brought to a vote. Perhaps the most important was an amendment by Barbara Lee, which would have limited expenditures for Afghanistan to the safe and orderly withdrawal of all US troops. This amendment was defeated with 107 Ayes,312 Noes and 12 not voting. One bright spot is that by a small margin, the majority of Democrats supported the Lee amendment, putting themselves in direct opposition to the White House on this crucial issue.
 
For roll-call on the Lee Amendment see:
 
The overall defense bill was whittled down by $1 billion as the result of a bipartisan amendment co-sponsored by Reps. Frank and Mulvaney, This still left a Pentagon budget of $606 billion for the next fiscal year.(In case anyone thinks this is a small amount of money to keep us all safe and sound, bear in mind that nuclear weapons, military construction and some other items are not included.They are in other appropriations bills.)
The not so inspiring total for the overall Defense Appropriations bill, which includes $88 billion to continue the war in Afghanistan was 326 Ayes,90 Noes and 15 Not voting. For the roll-call on the overall Defense Appropriations see:
 
Is this the end of the process? No.
This will still have to go to the Senate and will ultimately become part of a big budget fight, perhaps as late as the "lame duck" session in November. This is not more of the usual. Because of the Budget Control Act, passed last August, appropriations for the military, which exceed a cap (as this bill does)will come directly out of discretionary domestic spending.
 
Carolyn Eisenberg for the HAW Steering Committee

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