Afghanistan War Funding: House Approves $37 Billion

Even though they voted en masse to confirm Gen. David Petraeus this week, Democrats are increasingly showing their frustration with President Obama’s strategy for the war in Afghanistan. They stalled for weeks before narrowly approving a further $37 billion to fund the United States’ two wars—which must also be voted on by the Senate—and, even then, made sure their overall disapproval with the war was known. Along with nine Republicans, 153 House Democrats voted for an amendment to the bill, which would require Obama to offer a plan next April for the "safe, orderly and expeditious redeployment of U.S. troops" and make a provision a vote in Congress to block additional funding if withdrawal does not begin by next July. Ninety-three Democrats also supported an amendment that would allow the war funds to be spent exclusively on withdrawal. Neither amendment passed, but it was enough to make the point. “There is a growing level of concern,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said. “The vote reflected it.”