Question: How did you vote on H.R. 4899, the Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2010?
Answer: On May 27, 2010, the Senate passed an amendment to H.R. 4899, providing supplemental funding for the ongoing war operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. This legislation included a total of $58.9 billion in spending, including $32.8 billion in emergency funding requested by President Obama for the ongoing military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. This bill also included funding unrelated to the war effort, including $5.1 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Fund (FEMA), and $2.9 billion in aid relief for Haiti.
However, when the bill came to the House, House leadership tacked on another $23 billion in unrelated domestic spending and, despite my opposition, on June 30, the House voted 237-192 to approve an $81 billion version of the bill. It went back to the Senate and the Senate stripped the additional $23 billion in domestic spending and approved the bill again on July 22, sending it once again back to the House.
On July 28, the House reconsidered H.R. 4899, this time with $58.9 billion in spending and $3.3 billion in offsets, bringing the total cost of the bill to $55.6 billion. Approximately $37.1 billion of the bill will go to support ongoing military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq, along with billions in non-defense spending for FEMA debts, relief in Haiti, benefit payments to veterans of the Vietnam War who were exposed to Agent Orange, and State Department programs. I supported this version of the legislation, which President Obama signed into law on July 29, 2010.
Let me assure you that I do share the concerns of all Americans regarding U.S. casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan and the mounting federal deficit. However, we must do all we can to support our troops and to provide them with the equipment and materials they need to continue the fight against terror. That is why after the removal of $23 billion in additional unrelated domestic spending and policy provisions, I was able to support this legislation providing critically needed funding for our troops fighting overseas.
For more information about my positions on terrorism, please see my Terrorism issues page.
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