Daily Revolt

December 18, 2007

Senate OKs $70B for Iraq, Afghanistan

Democrats Cave Again:
The Senate voted Tuesday to provide $70 billion for U.S. military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, handing a victory to President Bush and his GOP allies on Capitol Hill.

The 70-25 roll call paved the way for the Senate to pass a $555 billion omnibus appropriations bill combining the war funding with the budgets for 14 Cabinet agencies.

Bush was ready to sign the bill, assuming the war funding clears the House on Wednesday. Democrats again failed to win votes to force removal of U.S. troops or set a nonbinding target to remove most troops by the end of next year.

[...]Twenty-one Democrats and Connecticut independent Joe Lieberman — who stood with Republicans at a post-vote news conference — voted with every Republican present except Gordon Smith of Oregon to approve the Iraq funding.

[...]With Bush winning the $70 billion infusion of troop funding, other Republicans muted their criticism.

[...]While disappointed by ceding Iraq funding to Bush, Democrats hailed the pending appropriations bill for smoothing the rough edges of Bush's February budget plan, which sought below-inflation increases for most domestic programs and contained numerous cutbacks and program eliminations.

[...]The White House, which maintained a hard line for months, has been far more forgiving in recent days, accepting $11 billion in "emergency" spending for veterans, drought relief, border security and firefighting accounts, among others. Other budget moves added billions more.

[...]Taxpayers for Common Sense, a Washington-based watchdog group that opposes so-called pork barrel projects, counted 8,983 such "earmarks" worth $7.4 billion. These hometown pet projects include economic development grants, aid to local transit and police departments and clean water projects, among many others.

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