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Monday, February 18 , 2019, 6:51 am | Fair 43º


Capps Votes Against Military Funding for Iraq, Afghanistan

After months of negotiations, the House of Representatives late Thursday voted 268-155 for a $162-billion measure to pay for U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Rep. Lois Capps, D-Santa Barbara, voted against the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2008.

The Senate had approved the measure in May but House members had demanded last-minute negotiations that resulted in the addition of billions of dollars for an expanded GI Bill of education benefits for veterans and the extension of unemployment benefits for other Americans. Absent is controversial language setting a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq. President Bush has vetoed previous such measures. Capps voted for the new GI Bill, which passed 416-12.

“While I am proud to support our brave men and women in uniform, and their families, who have given so much to our country, I cannot support the continued funding of President Bush’s failed policies in Iraq,” Capps said in a statement Friday. “Despite our best efforts to bring this war to a responsible end, President Bush and his Republican friends in Congress continue to resist the American people’s call for change. I’m going to continue my efforts to hold the Bush administration accountable and I look forward to responsibly ending this war with a new administration and an expanded Democratic majority in Congress.

“I was proud to support funding for several critical domestic and humanitarian priorities, including a much needed expansion and enhancement of the GI Bill. As we welcome the return of our military men and women it is important that we show our full appreciation for their service by providing them with the tools and the support to take the next step in their lives. Restoring the GI Bill’s original promise of a full, four-year college education, and allowing service members to transfer educational benefits to spouses and dependents is the right thing to do for our military men and women. Not only will it help our service members but it will help make America’s economy stronger and encourage a more educated workforce.”

Congressional passage of the bill, after Senate action and Bush’s likely signature, marks the last supplemental spending measure lawmakers will act on before the November presidential election.

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