What: All Issues : War & Peace : H.R. 3289. Fiscal 2004 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan/Vote to Recommit to Committee a $87.5 Billion Conference Report for Supplemental Spending on Military and Reconstruction Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan (2003 house Roll Call 600)
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H.R. 3289. Fiscal 2004 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan/Vote to Recommit to Committee a $87.5 Billion Conference Report for Supplemental Spending on Military and Reconstruction Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan
house Roll Call 600     Oct 30, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

One of the few procedural prerogatives available to minority party members in the House is the motion to recommit. If successful, the motion recommits a bill to committee and is usually accompanied by instructions to amend the legislation in a particular fashion. On this vote, Congressman Obey (D-WI) motioned to recommit to committee the conference report on President Bush's $87 billion supplemental spending request to Congress for expenditures associated with military and reconstruction activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. (If the House and Senate adopt legislation in different forms, a conference committee is convened to reconcile differences between the two versions of the bill; a conference report is the product of those negotiations.) Obey's motion included committee instructions to transform half of Iraq's reconstruction budget from a grant to a loan (unlike a grant, the recipient of a loan must repay the money). Progressives voted in support of Obey's motion because, in their view, 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. Conservatives opposed the motion to recommit and argued that with no Iraqi government in place, a loan would be meaningless because no institution could be held responsible for its repayment. On a vote of 198-221, Obey's motion was rejected and the conference report on the $87 supplemental spending bill was allowed to proceed to a final vote.

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