News / USA

House Approves War Spending Bill for Afghanistan

Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill

The House of Representatives has voted to pass a $59-billion emergency war-funding bill for the U.S. troop surge in Afghanistan and other Pentagon operational expenses.  On the Senate side, the general chosen to be the chief of U.S. Central Command has condemned the leaks of tens of thousands of U.S. military documents on the Afghan war in front of a Senate panel.  

After months of delay, Congress has finally sent emergency war funding to President Barack Obama for his signature.  The vote was 308 in favor, and 114 against.  More than 100 Democrats voted against the war funding bill, and there was strong Republican support for it with only 12 Republicans voting no.

About $33 billion of those funds will go for an additional 30,000 U.S. troops for Afghanistan ordered by the president as part of his new strategy to seize the momentum from Taliban forces in the nine-year-old conflict.

The president had requested the funding in February and the Senate passed it in May.  The House approved its own version in July, adding on more than $20 billion in domestic spending on education and help for farmers.  The Senate stripped the bill of that domestic spending last week and sent it back to the House.

In the debate leading up to the vote, some Democratic lawmakers said they would oppose the war funding bill.  Some said the leak of thousands of  U.S. military documents by the Website Wikileaks reinforced their skepticism over the progress of the war in Afghanistan.

Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich called on lawmakers to vote "no" on the war supplemental bill, and, along with Republican Congressman Ron Paul of Texas, introduced a resolution to remove U.S. forces they say have been operating in secret inside Pakistan, without congressional approval.  Kucinich said American taxpayers' money is desperately needed to help resolve domestic problems at home.

"Wake up America," said Dennis Kucinich. "There is unlimited money for war.  Money for a corrupt government in Afghanistan.  When U.S. money is not going to the Karzai mob's personal use it goes to help the Taliban kill our troops.  There is money for a corrupt government in Pakistan which helps the Taliban in Afghanistan kill our troops."

The House rejected the "Pakistan War Powers" resolution calling to remove U.S. troops from Pakistan by a vote of 372 against, 38 in favor, 4 present.

The Senate Armed Services Committee held a nomination hearing for Marine General James Mattis who has been chosen to be chief of the U.S. Central Command and oversee military operations in the Middle East, Afghanistan and Pakistan.  General Mattis said, if confirmed, he will focus on the war in Afghanistan, and that he supports President Obama's strategy for the country.  He said he believes the war in Afghanistan can be won.

Republican Senator John McCain and others praised General Mattis for his considerable command experience.  McCain asked General Mattis about the leaks of thousands of U.S. military documents, and this was the general's reaction.

"I just thought it was just an appallingly irresponsible act to release this information," said General Mattis. "It did not tell anything that I have seen so far that we weren't already aware of."

General Mattis said he did not believe the leaks would have a chilling effect on troops' candor in filing field reports.  He also defended the U.S. relationship with Pakistan, saying it is trending in the right direction.

You May Like

Turkey: No Ransom Paid for Release of Hostages Held by IS Militants

President Erdogan hails release of hostages as diplomatic success but declines to be drawn on whether their release freed Ankara's hand to take more active stance against insurgents More

Audio Sierra Leone Ends Ebola Lockdown

Health ministry says it has reached 75 percent of its target of visiting 1.5 million homes to locate infected, educate population about virus More

US Pivot to Asia Demands Delicate Balancing Act

As tumult in Middle East distracts Obama administration, efforts to shift American focus eastward appear threatened More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Towni
X
Deborah Block
September 21, 2014 2:12 PM
A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Natural Gas Export Plan Divides Maryland Town

A U.S. power company that has been importing natural gas now wants to export it. If approved, its plant in Lusby, Maryland, would likely be the first terminal on the United States East Coast to export liquefied natural gas from American pipelines. While some residents welcome the move because it will create jobs, others oppose it, saying the expansion could be a safety and environmental hazard. VOA’s Deborah Block examines the controversy.
Video

Video Difficult Tactical Battle Ahead Against IS Militants in Syria

The U.S. president has ordered the military to intensify its fight against the Islamic State, including in Syria. But how does the military conduct air strikes in a country that is not a U.S. ally? VOA correspondent Carla Babb reports from the Pentagon.
Video

Video Iran, World Powers Seek Progress in Nuclear Talks

Iran and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany, known as the P5 + 1, have started a new round of talks on Iran's nuclear program. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports that as the negotiations take place in New York, a U.S. envoy is questioning Iran's commitment to peaceful nuclear activity.
Video

Video Alibaba Shares Soar in First Day of Trading

China's biggest online retailer hit the market Friday -- with its share price soaring on the New York Stock Exchange. The shares were priced at $68, but trading stalled at the opening, as sellers held onto their shares, waiting for buyers to bid up the price. More on the world's biggest initial public offering from VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York.
Video

Video Obama Goes to UN With Islamic State, Ebola on Agenda

President Obama goes to the United Nations General Assembly to rally nations to support a coalition against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. He also will look for nations to back his plan to fight the Ebola virus in West Africa. As VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports, Obama’s efforts reflect new moves by the U.S. administration to take a leading role in addressing world crises.
Video

Video Migrants Caught in No-Man's Land Called Calais

The deaths of hundreds of migrants in the Mediterranean this week has only recast the spotlight on the perils of reaching Europe. And for those forunate enough to reach a place like Calais, France, only find that their problems aren't over. Lisa Bryant has the story.
Video

Video Westgate Siege Anniversary Brings Back Painful Memories

One year after it happened, the survivors of the terror attack on Nairobi's Westgate Shopping Mall still cannot shake the images of that tragic incident. For VOA, Mohammed Yusuf tells the story of victims still waiting for the answer to the question 'how could this happen?'
Video

Video Militant Assault in Syria Displaces Thousands of Kurds

A major assault by Islamic State militants on Kurds in Syria has sent a wave of new refugees to the Turkish border, where they were stopped by Turkish border security. Turkey is already hosting about 700,000 Syrian refugees who fled the civil war between the government and the opposition. But the government in Ankara has a history of strained relations with Turkey's Kurdish minority. Zlatica Hoke reports Turkey is asking for international help.
Video

Video Whaling Summit Votes to Uphold Ban on Japan Whale Hunt

The International Whaling Commission, meeting in Slovenia, has voted to uphold a court ruling banning Japan from hunting whales in the Antarctic Ocean. Conservationists hailed the ruling as a victory, but Tokyo says it will submit revised plans for a whale hunt in 2015. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video A Dinosaur Fit for Land and Water

Residents and tourists in Washington D.C. can now examine a life-size replica of an unusual dinosaur that lived almost a hundred million years ago in northern Africa. Scientists say studying the behemoth named Spinosaurus helps them better understand how some prehistoric animals adapted to life on land and in water. The Spinosaurus replica is on display at the National Geographic museum. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Iraqi Kurdistan Church Helps Christian Children Cope find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil

In the past six weeks, tens of thousands of Iraqi Christians have been forced to flee their homes by Islamic State militants and find shelter in churches in the Kurdish capital, Irbil. Despite U.S. airstrikes in the region, the prospect of people returning home is still very low and concerns are starting to grow over the impact this is having on the displaced youth. Sebastian Meyer reports from Irbil on how one church is coping.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid