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Setting the Record Straight: Past War Supplemental Bills Have Included Domestic Priorities

“If House Democrats want to ramp up spending on other government programs, those items should be considered separately…A troop funding bill should fund the troops. Period.”
–Minority Leader John Boehner [CQ, 5/6/08]

“We feel strongly that the Iraq war supplemental should remain for national security needs. We understand that there could be debates on other issues, such as unemployment benefits and food stamps, other issues that are important to a lot of people. But those issues can be taken up separate from our national security needs.”
— White House Press Secretary Dana Perino [Washington Post, 5/7/08]

President Bush and his Republican allies are misleading the American people about the supplemental bill to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that will be voted on by the House today. Previous supplemental bills — introduced by the Republican Congress and signed by the President — included considerable funding for domestic priorities, ranging from Avian Flu preparedness to agricultural assistance.

The President insists on continuing the war in Iraq — now in its sixth year — despite the grave toll it is taking on our troops and their families, our military readiness, the fight against terrorism and the American economy. The President's own admission in an interview this week that the war in Iraq was based on “flawed” intelligence and “wrong conclusions” should give his allies a cue to move toward a redeployment strategy. Democrats in Congress stand with Americans who want the responsible redeployment of our troops and economic needs here at home to become a priority again.

In addition to war funding coupled with tough restrictions, the bill will include a new GI Bill to provide college scholarships to veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and an extension of unemployment insurance benefits for those hardest hit by the economic downturn.

Previous Supplemental Bills

June 15, 2006: Fiscal Year 2006, H.R. 4939, Public Law 109-234
$84.5 billion for the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Global War on Terror, hurricane disaster relief, border security, and Avian Flu preparedness. All members of the Republican leadership voted in favor of this legislation.

President Bush: “Today, I have signed into law H.R. 4939, the 'Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Hurricane Recovery, 2006.' The Act provides additional resources needed to fight the war on terror, help citizens of the Gulf States recover from devastating hurricanes, and protect Americans from a potential influenza pandemic.” [6/15/06]

Washington Post: “The bill would also provide $19.8 billion in hurricane relief, exactly what President Bush News, Most Recent 60 Dayshad requested…The package squeezed in a few other priority items, including $500 million in agricultural aid…along with the $1.2 billion in border security funding and $2.3 billion in avian flu prevention that Bush had additionally requested.” [6/9/06]

December 30, 2005: Fiscal Year 2006, H.R. 2863, Public Law 109-148
$32.561 billion attached to the FY 2006 Defense Appropriations Bill to fund Katrina recovery and Avian Flu preparedness. All members of the Republican leadership voted in favor of this legislation.

President Bush: “Today, I have signed into law H.R. 2863, the “Department of Defense, Emergency Supplemental Appropriations to Address Hurricanes in the Gulf of Mexico, and Pandemic Influenza Act, 2006.” The Act provides resources needed to fight the war on terror, help citizens of the Gulf States recover from devastating hurricanes, and protect Americans from a potential influenza pandemic.” [12/30/05]

May 11, 2005: Fiscal Year 2005, H.R. 1268, Public Law 109-13
$83.555 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Global War on Terror, and tsunami relief. All members of the Republican leadership voted in favor of this legislation.

Washington Post: “Most of the debate in Congress revolved not around the money but around unrelated immigration measures. The bill includes a provision that would make it more difficult for illegal immigrants to acquire driver’s licenses that the federal government would recognize as identification. It would also expand the list of terrorism-related activities that will make an immigrant inadmissible or deportable, tighten rules on political asylum, and add federal powers to ease construction of border barriers.” [Washington Post, 5/11/05]

State Department Fact Sheet on the Supplemental: The key spending sections of the measure include:

· $75.9 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan;
· $4.1 billion for international security programs;
· $1.2 billion for domestic counterterrorism programs;
· $907.3 million for Indian Ocean tsunami relief; and
· $123.9 million for other emergency appropriations. [5/12/05]

October 13, 2004: Fiscal Year 2005, H.R. 4837, Public Law 108-324
$14.528 billion attached to the FY 2005 Military Construction Appropriations Bill for hurricane disaster assistance. All members of the Republican leadership voted in favor of this legislation.

President Bush: “Today, I have signed into law H.R. 4837, the 'Military Construction Appropriations and Emergency Hurricane Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2005.' This Act provides funding for construction to support the operations of the U.S. Armed Forces and for military family housing. The Act also provides the funds I requested to help citizens in Florida and elsewhere rebuild their lives in the aftermath of multiple hurricanes and other natural disasters.” [10/14/04]

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