What: All Issues : War & Peace : US Intervention in Afghanistan and/or Pakistan : (H.R. 1) On an amendment that would have eliminated $400 million in funding for improving infrastructure (such as roads, bridges, etc.) in Afghanistan. This amendment was offered to legislation funding the federal government (such legislation is known as a “continuing resolution, or “CR”) through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.
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(H.R. 1) On an amendment that would have eliminated $400 million in funding for improving infrastructure (such as roads, bridges, etc.) in Afghanistan. This amendment was offered to legislation funding the federal government (such legislation is known as a “continuing resolution, or “CR”) through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.
house Roll Call 47     Feb 16, 2011
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

This was a vote on an amendment by Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) that would have eliminated $400 million in funding for improving infrastructure (such as roads, bridges, etc.) in Afghanistan. This amendment was offered to legislation funding the federal government (such legislation is known as a “continuing resolution, or “CR”) through September 2011, and cutting $61 billion in federal funding for many government programs.

Jones urged support for his amendment: “I bring this amendment to the floor because of the frustration of the American people. Here we are trying to find $400 million to put in an infrastructure fund for Afghanistan…At this time in America's history when we are having these debates tonight that I've heard all day long with the frustration of the members of Congress from both parties that here we cannot even balance the budget of this country and we're trying to find this money to go to the infrastructure of Afghanistan and we're going to say to the American people, we can't help you with your infrastructure needs in your counties, in your towns, in your cities, it makes absolutely no sense to me, and more important than me is to the American people.”

A majority of Democrats supported this amendment. Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) argued: “I support this cut not because I am opposed to providing humanitarian aid to other countries. To the contrary, I am very supportive of helping improve living conditions and human rights in countries around the world by investing in infrastructure. However, I have strong concerns about this important work being directed by our armed forces because it raises the specter of the `militarization' of our foreign aid, which can often place troops, aid workers, and the civilian population at risk.”

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX) urged opposition to the amendment: “…The reason we have troops in Afghanistan is to prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a sanctuary from which terrorists will launch attacks against us. For us to one day be able to withdraw our troops from Afghanistan, the Afghan people have to be able to stand on their own two feet, and this fund is designed to help them do that.”

The House rejected this amendment by a vote of 135-294. Voting “yea” were 99 Democrats—including a majority of progressives—and 36 Republicans. 202 Republicans and 92 Democrats voted “nay.” As a result, the House rejected an amendment that would have eliminated $400 million in funding for improving infrastructure in Afghanistan.

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