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Congresswoman Chellie Pingree Votes Against Defense Spending Bill

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Congresswoman Chellie Pingree voted against a massive defense-spending bill today, saying she couldn't support continued funding for the war in Afghanistan.

"The situation in Afghanistan continues to deteriorate with no end in site," Pingree said. "For nearly 10 years our men and women in uniform have done everything we've asked of them there, but the situation continues to get worse. It's time to stop funding the war and bring them home."

Pingree also said as Congress considers deficit reduction measures, it's a critical time to send a message on continued war funding.

"As we struggle to get budget deficits under control, we have to come to grips with the fact that nearly one-quarter of the deficits that have been run up since 2003 are the result of war spending," Pingree said.

Pingree said recent statements from the head of the International Red Cross in Afghanistan is the latest evidence of how bad the situation has become there.

"The Red Cross works closely with the Afghan people and knows better than most the reality on the ground in that country, and yesterday the head of the Red Cross said the conflict is spreading with no end in sight," Pingree said. "That's not a conflict we should continue to be involved in."

The National Defense Authorization Bill passed the House today and now goes on to the Senate. The bill authorizes $158 billion in spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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