posted on Jul, 23 2008 @ 07:17 AM
Vote description: This $120 billion dollar package was passed in the Senate by an 80-14 vote on May 24. The bill primarily focuses on funding for the
Iraq war but also addresses other unrelated topics.
A previous war funding bill was vetoed by the president because it included troop withdrawal deadlines, which were largely supported by anti-war
Ten Democrats opposed this new bill with no withdrawal deadlines, while 37 supported its passage. Congress had to act to replace war funding that
would have ended May 28.
According to the Washington Post, this bill includes 18 benchmarks that the Iraqi government must meet to continue receiving reconstruction aid.
One hundred billion dollars in funding is slated to support continuing military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The bill says that the President and Congress must not take any action that will endanger the troops and that they provide any funds necessary for
training, equipment and other types of support to ensure their safety and the effectiveness of their missions. The president is required to give a
first report on the Iraqis' progress in meeting the benchmarks to Congress on July 15.
Seventeen billion dollars in the package is for domestic spending. Out of this funding, $6.4 billion is for Gulf Coast hurricane relief efforts, $3
billion in emergency aid for farmers, $1 billion to upgrade port and mass transit security, $3 billion towards converting closing U.S. military bases
to other uses, and $650 million to increase funding for children health care. A Congressional Research Service summary states that the other domestic
beneficiaries include state HIV grant programs, mine safety research, youth violence prevention activities, and pandemic flu protection.