Rep. Hank Johnson, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, voted again yesterday to reject the Iraq War Supplemental bill (H.R. 2642) which allocates $165.4 billion in unrestricted funds for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through June 2009. In a historic vote just over a month ago, the Congressman joined colleagues from both sides of the aisle to deny a similar request from the Bush Administration.
"I can not, in good conscience, give the President a blank check to continue the Iraq war," said Rep. Johnson. Last month, 132 House Republicans voted "Present" rather than approve war funding.
In a separate vote, Rep. Johnson approved measures to: restore veteran's GI education benefits to post World War II levels based on service; to give eligible, jobless Americans a 13-week extension of unemployment benefits after regular benefits have been exhausted; to provide $2.65 billion in disaster relief to help flood victims in the Midwest; $5.8 billion to strengthen Louisiana levees; and $73 million in housing assistance for eligible Hurricane Katrina victims.
The bill stops Bush Administration cuts to Medicaid until 2009; authorizes $1.9 billion for international food relief; adds $2.2 billion to improve military facilities such as bases, hospitals and child care centers; gives an additional $400 million for science and innovation at NIH, NASA and the Department of Energy; and adds $150 million more to the Food and Drug Administration budget to ensure the safety of America's food supply. The amendment also cut the DOD war supplemental to $161.8 billion.