Thursday, May 24, 2007

Senate OKs war spending bill, sent to Bush for signature

Less than two hours after the House did so, the Senate voted to send the legislation to the president 80-14. Democratic Presidential hopefuls Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Christopher Dodd voted against it. Joe Biden voted in favor.

On the House side, Speaker Pelosi said she would put on the House agenda a bill to repeal Congress' 2002 authorization of the Iraq war and said Democrats would use next year's military spending bills to try again to end the war. Also part of consideration of the spending bill, House leaders committed to holding another vote on withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq.

In the meantime, we are stuck with Bush's failed policy in Iraq.

UPDATE: Sen. Carl Levin, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, also plans to offer an amendment to the Senate version of the defense policy bill authorizing military spending for the fiscal year of 2008 that would order troop withdrawals to begin within 120 days. And Sen. Robert Byrd will press to repeal the 2002 resolution authorizing combat in Iraq.

UPDATE II: Sen. Carl Levin has also tucked another measure into the defense policy bill that would grant new rights to terror suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, including access to a lawyer regardless of whether the prisoners are put on trial. The measure would also tighten the definition of who qualifies as an enemy combatant, assign each detainee legal counsel, put a military judge in charge and require the disclosure of evidence during the reviews, and restricts the use of coerced testimony and hearsay evidence. It was approved today on a 25-0 vote by the Senate Armed Services Committee.

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