What: All Issues : War & Peace : War with Iraq : H.R. 3289. Fiscal 2004 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan/Vote on the Rules of Debate Governing Consideration on an $87.5 Billion Conference Report for Spending in Iraq and Afghanistan. (2003 house Roll Call 597)
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H.R. 3289. Fiscal 2004 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan/Vote on the Rules of Debate Governing Consideration on an $87.5 Billion Conference Report for Spending in Iraq and Afghanistan.
house Roll Call 597     Oct 30, 2003
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

After the House and Senate had completed action on the Bush Administration's $87 billion supplemental spending request for military and reconstruction costs in Iraq and Afghanistan-the single largest supplemental spending request ever presented to Congress-a conference committee was convened to iron out differences between the two versions of the legislation. But, before the conference report could be reintroduced in the House for final passage, Republican leaders needed to pass a rule governing debate on the measure (before legislation can be considered in the House, a rule drafted by the House Rules Committee-a de facto arm of the majority party leadership-must be adopted). Democrats (including Progressives) voted against the rules of debate, the subject of this vote, based on their several concerns with the underlying legislation. First, they argued, U.S. taxpayers were shouldering too heavy a burden for military and reconstruction operations in Iraq. In their view, President Bush's "go-it-alone" strategy had needlessly alienated potential allies who would have been inclined to help the U.S.-either financially or militarily or both-during both the Iraqi conflict and the post-war reconstruction. Second, Progressives argued that insufficient funding was included in the supplemental bill to protect the lives and health of U.S. troops. Only twenty percent of U.S. personnel had access to clean drinking water, they argued, and many front-line soldiers lacked basic combat necessities such as body armor. Third, Progressives were concerned that the Bush Administration lacked a clear policy for Iraq's post-war reconstruction and transition to democracy. But, despite the objections raised by Progressives, the rules of debate for the supplemental spending bill were adopted on a party-line vote of 217-197.

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