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Monday, June 23, 2014

[haw-info] Under Iraq Shadow-House Passes Large Pentagon Budget

With the Obama Administration debating the extent of US military intervention in Iraq, Congressional voices are especially important.
Under the shadow of Iraq, the House of Representatives voted on the 2015 Defense Appropriations bill last week. The bill totaled $571 billion, including $79.4 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations. The exact purpose of $ 79.4 billion is left ambiguous-- but these funds could readily be used to extend US military operations in Afghanistan beyond December 2014, or to fund new operations in Iraq.
We are including Roll-Calls on key amendments and the final bill. It would be helpful to consider what role historians can play as this legislation goes to the Senate. This is an important  opportunity for letters to the editor, op.ed. pieces, calls to Congressional offices and other initiatives. Hanging in the balance is the military re-involvement of the United States in Iraq, as well longstanding issues of war and peace.
Carolyn Rusti Eisenberg and Margaret Power for the HAW-SC
 Last week the House of Representatives voted on a series of amendments to the HR 4870 Defense Appropriation bill. Among the key amendments were those introduced by Barbara Lee--to prevent US military intervention in Iraq and to bring to an end to all combat operations in Afghanistan. All were defeated by varying margins. (Use links below to see the Roll-Calls)
*** Even though these particular amendments were defeated, It is very significant and distressing that by a margin of 342-73 the House passed a $571 billion Defense Appropriations bill. This is not just the House Republicans. A significant majority of Democrats supported it as well--far more than were willing to support the Pentagon budget last year.
For Roll-call on the bill as a whole
For votes on Representative Lee's amendments on Iraq and Afghanistan, use links below.
Rejected 165-250 Lee (D-CA) amendment to prohibit the use of funds to be used for the purposes of conducting combat operations in Iraq.
Rejected 182-231 Lee (D-CA) amendment to prohibit use of funds to be obligated or expended pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Iraq Resolution of 2002.
Rejected 157-260 Lee (D-CA) amendment to prohibit use of funds to be obligated or expended pursuant to the Authorization for Use of Military of Force after December 31, 2014.
Rejected 153-260 Lee (D-CA), to prohibit use of funds for the purpose of conducting combat operations in Afghanistanafter December 31, 2014.


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