Ed. Note: Today, the House passed H.R. 5856, the Fiscal Year 2013 Defense Department Appropriations Bill. Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin opposed the bill.
"The legislation adopted today keeps us on a path to a long term commitment in Afghanistan that I and a majority of Americans oppose. It is time to bring our troops home safely from Afghanistan.
Funding the Department of Defense to protect our homeland and support our troops in harm's way is a key responsibility of Congress that I take very seriously. Our troops and their families deserve our thanks and our respect for their work and their sacrifices and our full commitment to their emotional and physical well-being. I support many provisions in this bill, including pay increases for our servicemen and women and funding for suicide prevention.
However, I could not support the bill as written because it continues to fund the war in Afghanistan. I have said repeatedly that our engagement there should have ended when our stated mission was accomplished. I continue to press to bring all of our troops home as quickly as is safely possible and redirect the roughly $2 billion we spend in Afghanistan each week to balance our budget and strengthen our economy here at home."