What: All Issues : War & Peace : Well-Being of America's Military Personnel : H.R. 3289. Fiscal 2004 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan/Vote to Provide Additional Funding for Quality of Life Enhancements for U.S. Troops. (2003 house Roll Call 547)
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H.R. 3289. Fiscal 2004 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan/Vote to Provide Additional Funding for Quality of Life Enhancements for U.S. Troops.
house Roll Call 547     Oct 16, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

During debate on an $87 billion supplemental spending request for military actions and reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, Representative Obey (D-WI) proposed an amendment which would have transferred $3.6 billion in Iraq reconstruction funds into quality of life enhancements for U.S. military personnel. During debate on his measure, Obey pointed out that only twenty percent of U.S. soldiers have access to clean drinking water. Consequently, a large number of U.S. soldiers have contacted dysentery and other water-borne diseases. Obey's amendment would have also provided additional health benefits to reservists and full-time soldiers by extending coverage under the military health care plan from sixty days to one-hundred and eighty days upon return from combat duty. Progressives voted in favor of Obey's amendment because, in their view, the administration's supplemental spending request provided an insufficient amount of funding to protect the health of U.S. troops ($15 million was included in the supplemental request to improve access to clean and safe drinking water). Conservatives opposed the measure and argued that transferring reconstruction money into other areas would undermine the reconstruction effort. On a vote of 209-216, the Obey amendment was rejected and the additional funding for quality of life enhancements for U.S. troops was not included in the underlying supplemental spending bill.

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