What: All Issues : Justice for All: Civil and Criminal : Equal Access to Justice : H.R. 1268. Appropriations/Immigration/Vote on Final Passage of H.R. 1268, an Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill to Fund U.S. Efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and to Provide Relief to Tsunami Victims. (2005 house Roll Call 161)
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H.R. 1268. Appropriations/Immigration/Vote on Final Passage of H.R. 1268, an Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Bill to Fund U.S. Efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and to Provide Relief to Tsunami Victims.
house Roll Call 161     May 05, 2005
Progressive Position:
Nay
Progressive Result:
Loss

In this vote, the House passed H.R. 1268, an emergency supplemental appropriations bill to fund U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan and to provide relief to tsunami victims. The House was considering the conference report for H.R. 1268, which is the reconciled version of a bill that emerges from a conference of selected senators and representatives following the passage of different versions of the bill by each body. (The report must then be agreed to by both the House and the Senate, without changes, before it can be sent to the President for his signature.) This vote was closely related to vote numbers 159 and 160. The bill provided more than $80 billion in spending, most of it military-related. In addition, it included Republican-backed immigration legislation designed to make a number of broad changes to U.S. immigration laws, including restricting standards for those claiming asylum and standardizing amongst the states procedures for obtaining driver's licenses. Democrats alleged that U.S. funds were being squandered in the course of the war. They also argued that funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan ought to be determined as part of Congress's ordinary budget process, not in this "emergency" context, because these needs could be foreseen and ought to be considered at the same time as the country's other needs. In addition, a number of Democrats opposed the immigration-related provisions of the bill, calling them "highly restrictive, punitive measures that will burden our states and, I believe, fail to have any meaningful effect on stemming illegal immigration, but will do great harm to those immigrants fleeing persecution, regardless of how they come to our shores seeking protection." (James McGovern (D-MA).) Republicans countered that the emergency funds in the bill were absolutely critical to support U.S. troops and ongoing military commitments in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they supported the immigration-related provisions because they represented "a very important first step towards dealing with the issue of border security." (David Dreier (R-CA).) Defeating the Progressive position, the House voted 368 to 58 to pass the legislation. 143 Democrats crossed party lines to vote with Republicans for the bill, in large part due to feelings that they needed to support legislation designed to support U.S. troops fighting overseas. Thus, the House overwhelmingly expressed its support for additional funding for U.S. efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, for providing those funds on an emergency basis, to provide relief for tsunami victims, to make it tougher for asylum applicants to prove their claims and to standardize driver's licenses procedures among the states, despite strong Democratic concerns in nearly all of these areas.

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