House Dems Drafting Antiwar Amendment For Floor Vote
Thursday, July 1, 2010
The House is expected to consider a $75 billion war funding bill today, along with an amendment that House Democratic leaders were drafting Wednesday night that would allow antiwar Democrats to voice their opposition to funding U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq.
"They're working on it," House Majority Leader Hoyer said of the amendment, adding that there could be other proposals to the FY10 supplemental spending bill.
House Democratic aides said the amendment will likely be a combination of two proposals: one from Rep. Jim McGovern, D-Mass., seeking to require President Obama to send Congress a redeployment plan for Afghanistan, and another from House Appropriations Chairman David Obey, who has sought to impose conditions on the war funding.
Hoyer's comments came as several liberal Democrats -- including Progressive Caucus Co-Chairman Raul Grijalva, D-Ariz. -- announced they plan to hold a news conference today to air their concerns before the vote.
"We have no indication from our foreign policy leaders what we hope to accomplish in Afghanistan or how we intend to do it," Grijalva said in a release Wednesday. "The country has literally become a dead-end for our troops, and our economy can't sustain billions more in spending that we'll never see back."
Meanwhile, Senate Appropriations ranking member Thad Cochran, wrote to House Appropriations ranking member Jerry Lewis Wednesday warning that efforts by House Democrats to add $16 billion to the $59 billion package the Senate approved last month would delay final passage of a war funding bill in the Senate before the Independence Day recess.
Cochran said he believes the Senate will reject the House additions and send the measure back to the House, requiring a conference or further House action -- both of which "would delay sorely needed troop funding and disaster assistance until at least late July."
Hoyer, who wants to send the bill to Obama before the end of the week, said he intends to talk to Senate Majority Leader Reid about the prospects of getting the bill through the Senate.