This was a vote on final passage of legislation providing $59 billion for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rep. Buck McKeon (R-CA) urged support for the bill: “Those of us here in Congress cannot lose sight of the broader perspective. Our brave military men and women and their civilian counterparts are in the midst of a tough fight that is critical to U.S. national security. Cutting off their funding in the middle of that fight is tantamount to abandonment. I have confidence that… our troops will succeed in Afghanistan if given the time, space, and resources they need to complete their mission.”
Rep. Ike Skelton (D-MO) also urged support for the measure: “…Today we take a vital step toward fulfilling one of Congress' most basic and important responsibilities. We will provide the men and women of the United States military with the resources they need to carry out their missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, missions for which they are risking their lives.”
Rep. David Obey (D-WI), the chairman of the committee that drafted the bill, expressed sentiment shared by many progressives on the war in Afghanistan. Still, he argued that as the chairman, it was his duty to bring the bill to the House floor: “I have a…conflicting obligation on this matter. As chairman of the committee, I have an obligation to this House to bring this war supplemental before the House to allow this institution to work its will. But I also have the obligation of my conscience to indicate by my individual vote my profound skepticism that this action will accomplish much more than to serve as a recruiting incentive for those who most want to do us ill.”
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) also urged opposition to the bill: “I believe in this Nation, and I believe in our soldiers. I salute them. And I believe it is time to bring them home with honors. They are our heroes. They have done what they needed to do in Afghanistan….It's time now to bring them home with honor. Vote "no'' on this supplemental [war-funding bill].
The House passed the war-funding bill by a vote of 308-114. 160 Republicans and 148 Democrats voted “yea.” 102 Democrats – including a majority of progressives – and 12 Republicans voted “nay.” As a result, the House passed legislation providing $59 billion for ongoing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The measure had already passed the Senate. Thus, House passage cleared the measure for the president’s signature.