Published June 16, 2009
The House narrowly passed the $106 billion emergency war spending bill Tuesday afternoon.
The package provides funds to wind down the war in Iraq, build up operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan as the U.S. doubles it's troop numbers this summer and allocates billions towards controlling and preventing the outbreak of H1N1 flu.
The bill passed 226-202.
A handful of Republicans voted with Democrats including Army Secretary nominee Rep. John McHugh, R-N.Y.
At issue for Republicans Tuesday was a $5 billion allocation to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) added by the Senate that the GOP said did not belong in a war spending bill. Republicans also cited the removal of a provision banning the release of photos of detainees being abused.
The photo measure was popular on both sides of the aisle but was removed last week as the Senate and House hammered out a compromise after a group of Democrats raised concerns about its' legal ramifications, making final passage difficult.
In order to assuage concerns, President Obama vowed privately that he would use all of his powers to ensure the photos never see the light of day but many Republicans remained unconvinced.
More than 30 mostly anti-war Democrats, including Reps. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio, Lynn Woolsey and Barbara Lee of California also voted against the bill since it funds the continuation of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"I see it as a disservice to the taxpayers of this country and a disservice to the brave men and women who defend us every day," said Rep. Mike Pence of Indiana, House Republican Conference chairman.
"A global bailout on the backs of our soldiers is just not right....stand with our troops, stand with the American taxpayer, stand against one more bailout," he said.
House Majority Leader, Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., accused Republicans of trying to bring down the bill as an attempt to "embarrass Democrats."
"Do not use this addition by the United States Senate as a reason to say 'I can't vote,' for what 80 percent of this bill does (is) support those young men and women -- deployed abroad in the defense of freedom and the furtherance of our security," Hoyer said.
The final bill now goes to the Senate for a final vote before hitting the president's desk.