War supplemental bill gets 'no' from Thompson

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WASHINGTON, D.C. An emergency supplemental spending bill which will put another $120 billion toward the Iraq war is on the way to the president for his signature.


The bill split the state's Democratic senators, and drew a no vote from North Coast Congressman Mike Thompson.


The U.S. Senate on Thursday night approved HR 2206 in an 80-14 vote, according to GovTrack.


The Senate vote came the same day as the House voted 280-142 to approve the bill.


HR 2206 did not contain a timeline for withdrawal from Iraq, as did HR 1591, an emergency supplemental that Congress approved last month but which President Bush vetoed on May 2.


Sen. Barbara Boxer voted against the bill. She cited her concerns that the supplemental maintains the “status quo,” which so far this year has meant higher casualties amongst US troops. Boxer reminded fellow senators of the more than 3,400 US troops killed and more than 25,000 wounded.


At the same time, Sen. Dianne Feinstein voted for the supplemental.


On the House side, Thompson, who has been a consistent critic of the war in Iraq, voted against HR 2206 on Thursday, saying he did so because it lacked the timeline or benchmarks needed to end the war.


“I voted against the Iraq supplemental because it only furthers the president's open-ended war in Iraq,” Thompson said in a statement.


Thompson had previously supported HR 1591, but has maintained that war funding should go through the regular budgeting process. “If the administration doesn't know after four years how to fund the war, we're in more trouble than we may think.”


He stated his belief that the Iraqi government “needs to take responsibility for securing their country so we can bring our troops home as safely and quickly as possible.” Benchmarks are needed, he said, to know whether or not the Iraqi government is making progress.


The supplemental only continues what Thompson said has been a lack of accountability in the war spending, said Thompson, with $400 billion spent so far.


“I can't support a war funding bill that doesn't make our troops and veterans the top priority,” Thompson said.


President Bush is expected to sign the bill over the Memorial Day weekend.


E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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