Yesterday, Congress voted to provide $100 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan with no timetables set for American withdrawal. However, the bill does require the Al-Maliki government to meet a series of benchmarks in order to continue receiving American aid. Senators who voted against the bill include Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and Chris Dodd. Another Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden, supported the bill.
The bill also included a federal minimum wage increase, funding for military and children’s health care, and aid for the Gulf Coast hurricane recovery.
Clinton released a statement saying, “I fully support our troops, and wish the President had followed the will of the people and signed the original bill we sent which both funded the troops and set a new course of phased redeployment. But the President vetoed Congress’s new strategy and so Congress must reject the President’s failed policies. I will also continue to press with Senator Byrd for our legislation to end the authorization of the war in Iraq.”
Obama also released a statement saying, “We must fund our troops. But we owe them something more. We owe them a clear, prudent plan to relieve them of the burden of policing someone else’s civil war. We need a plan to compel the Iraqi people to reach a political accommodation and to take responsibility for their own future. It’s time to change course.”