Published May 14, 2009
The vote was 368-to-60. But 51 Democrats, mostly liberal, voted against the measure.
Many are part of the Out of Iraq Caucus which is against spending any more money for the conflict there.
The bill, however, did not include a request by President Obama to pay for shuttering the detention center at Guantanamo Bay. The Senate could provide some of that money once it wrestles with its version of the legislation.
Instead, House Democrats added a provision to restrict the Obama administration from moving any terror suspects to the United States until at least two months after the White House crafts a plan on how to handle the prisoners.
The overall funding would push the total provided by Congress so far for the President Bush-launched wars above $900 billion.
Meanwhile, a key Senate committee took up a companion bill that sticks closely to Obama's war request and also provides $50 million to the Pentagon to begin the promised closure of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
A separate conflict over the war-funding measure concerns whether it should provide a $108 billion U.S. contribution to the International Monetary Fund as part of an expanded $500 billion IMF loan fund, a cornerstone of last month's Group of 20 nations summit in London to assist poor countries struggling through the global economic downturn.
Obama officially requested the IMF funding late Tuesday, and the request was immediately incorporated by Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, a Democrat, into the $91.5 billion war legislation. The IMF funds are estimated to cost U.S. taxpayers about $5 billion since the government is issued interest-bearing assets in return for the contribution.
As for the military spending, during the Bush administration many Democrats stressed their opposition to the war in Iraq while supporting efforts against Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. But an increasing number of party liberals are skeptical of success in Afghanistan.
Chief among them is Rep. David Obey, a Democrat and author of the House legislation as chairman of the Appropriations Committee, but for now he is giving Obama a chance to demonstrate greater progress in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Rep. Jim McGovern, a Democrat, is opposing the infusion of war funds. He is not impressed with Obama's plans on Afghanistan.
"Sometimes great presidents make mistakes, and sometimes great presidents make even great mistakes. I hope that doesn't happen here," McGovern said. "As the mission has grown bigger, the policy has grown even more vague."
Both the House and Senate measures largely follow Obama's $85 billion military request for the wars. But the House version adds $11.8 billion, including almost $4 billion for new weapons and military equipment such as cargo planes, mine-resistant vehicles, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and Stryker armored vehicles. The measure also adds $2.2 billion to Obama's request for foreign aid -- much of which appears to be designed to get around spending limits for 2010.
The Senate measure includes Obama's $1.5 billion emergency request to fight a potential flu pandemic, while the House would add about $500 million to the request -- even as the recent swine flu scare appears to be abating.
On Guantanamo, the Senate measure includes $50 million to begin closing the prison but directs that it cannot be used to transfer any of the detainees into the United States.
FOX News' Chad Pergram and the Associated Press contributed to this report.