What: All Issues : Human Rights & Civil Liberties : Human Rights Abuses : H.R. 1815. Defense/Vote on Passage of Bill to Authorize Military Activities of the Defense Department.
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H.R. 1815. Defense/Vote on Passage of Bill to Authorize Military Activities of the Defense Department.
house Roll Call 222     May 25, 2005
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

In this vote, the House overwhelmingly passed H.R. 1815, a $441.6 billion bill to authorize military activities of the Defense Department for fiscal year 2006 (FY06). Among other provisions, the bill would provide $49.1 billion in additional spending for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and funds to develop certain weapons, including the Army's Future Combat System and the Navy's DD(X) destroyer. It also would prohibit the Defense Department from obtaining anything from foreign companies which receive subsidies from their own governments. Republicans hailed the bill, stating that it "is a true example of bipartisan cooperation, providing the men and women of the armed services with the best equipment, best training, and a benefit package that is worthy of their service and their sacrifice." (Duncan Hunter (R-CA).) They argued that it "contains significant improvements in areas of military personnel, acquisition reform, responsible defense procurement strategies, and addresses a need for continuity in funding for our ongoing efforts in the global war on terror." (Hunter.) Most Progressives disagreed. Even some supporters of the bill joined Progressives in expressing concern that money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continued to be authorized and appropriated outside of the ordinary budgeting process. They indicated that these expenses were foreseeable and thus ought to be determined along with all of the other expenses of the United States government. Progressives expressed other concerns as well. Making a Progressive argument, Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) appealed to the House to think about peace and called the bill a "half-trillion [dollar] authorization for more fraud, waste, abuse and war." Earl Blumenauer (D-OR) expressed concern that too much money would be spent on weapons systems that either didn't work or didn't adequately "address the new threats we face." He also stated that with respect to the bill, "[a] glaring omission is the lack of any meaningful provisions dealing with torture and prison abuse by our country." The House defeated Progressives and voted 390 to 39 to support the Defense Authorization Bill, with 164 Democrats joining Republicans in support of the bill. Thus, the House sent to the Senate a bill authorizing $441.6 billion in defense spending for FY06.

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