May 20, 2024

Budget Passes Senate, Includes Iraq Funding

In what has to have left an extremely bitter taste in liberals’ mouths, the U.S. Senate approved a $556B spending bill that includes $70B for the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

By a vote of 76-17, the Senate approved the $556 billion fiscal 2008 spending bill.

Marking another defeat for Democrats trying to end nearly five years of combat in Iraq, the Senate included $70 billion in new money for the war there and in Afghanistan. Attempts to attach Iraq troop withdrawal plans failed.

The House of Representatives could vote as early as Wednesday to approve the Iraq war funds. When the House passed its version of the budget bill on Monday, it specifically prohibited any new money for Iraq.

But with the Democratic-controlled Congress hurrying to recess for three weeks and Republican Bush promising to veto any budget bill that does not have money for the Iraq war, the House is expected to relent. 

Yes, I expect that Pelosi and Co. probably will cave, as they’ve done nothing but talk since being elected over a year ago.  Not that it would do them any good to fight the inevitable.  Their fellow Democrats didn’t have any luck in the Senate today either as a ploy by Russ Feingold and Teddy Kennedy to tie the budget bill to a 90 day troop withdrawal window failed miserably, gaining only 24 votes.


“Senators must decide if they want to support the president’s disastrous Iraq policy, which has left almost 4,000 Americans dead and almost 30,000 more wounded, and is costing $12 billion per month, or whether they want to focus our attention on fighting al Qaeda around the world,” Feingold argued unsuccessfully.

Yes, in a better present we would not have most of our military capability engaged in Iraq.  I agree with this sentiment completely.  But as Mike Huckabee said to Ron Paul during a September debate:

“Congressman, whether or not we should have gone to Iraq is a discussion for historians, but we’re there. We bought it because we broke it,” he said. “We’ve got a responsibility to the honor of this country and the honor of every man and woman who has served in Iraq and our military to not leave them with anything less than the honor they deserve.”

That’s it.


“The best way to end this charade and protect our troops and our national security is to put the Iraqis on notice that they need to take responsibility for their future,” Kennedy said. “Unless there’s a binding timeline for the redeployment of our troops, the Iraqis will not feel the need to make the compromises essential for a political solution.”

Right…  Which is the charade, funding the troops’ mission that we seem to be making good progress toward completing or posturing behind what can only be called a politically motivated amendment with zero chance of passing? 

I do admire Feingold and Kennedy for fighting for what they believe in.  But neither is stupid – they both knew going in that they didn’t have the votes to make a respectable showing, let alone win the day.  So why bother except to score points with the far left?

At least when Carl Levin tried to attach a non-binding, 1-year timetable to the bill the vote was close, 50-45.  But Levin’s amendment failed too and deservedly so.  Timetables are a terrible idea, especially when they’re public knowledge.  I’m glad to see that at least a majority of the Senate is willing to acknowledge that elementary fact.

h/t Sister Toldjah


Marc is a software developer, writer, and part-time political know-it-all who currently resides in Texas in the good ol' U.S.A.

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