Custom Search

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Defense authorization bill sent to Bush-- without time lines

The Senate approved the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008 yesterday, with a vote of 90- 3 with 7 not voting. (Roll Call here) This measure was passed with no time lines for withdrawal, had already passed the house and is expected to be signed into law by President Bush.

The three that voted nay were:

Byrd (D-WV), Feingold (D-WI)and Sanders (I-VT)

The seven not voting were:

Biden (D-DE), Boxer (D-CA), Clinton (D-NY), Dodd (D-CT), Inouye (D-HI), McCain (R-AZ), and Obama (D-IL)

Title measure: To authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2008 for military activities of the Department of Defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the Department of Energy, to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes.

It authorizes $506.9 billion during fiscal 2008, which began in October, for Pentagon programs and $189.4 billion for the Iraq and Afghan wars, for which Congress has already approved some $600 billion.

Next step is appropriating the money, because although they have now given the Pentagon authorization to spend the money, they have not given the money itself for them to spend.

This measure, H.R.1585, includes a 3.5 percent pay raise for the military. In response to complaints, it enhances veterans’ health care, expanding treatment for brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder, and assuring speedy mental health evaluations.

This measure also includes a breakdown in Title IV- Military Personnel Authorizations, Subtitle C--Authorization of Appropriations, SEC. 421. Military Personnel, of funds that are authorized to be appropriated fiscal year 2008 for military personnel, in amounts as follows:

(1) For the Army, $34,952,762,000.
(2) For the Navy, $23,300,841,000.
(3) For the Marine Corps, $11,065,542,000.
(4) For the Air Force, $24,091,993,000.
(5) For the Army Reserve, $3,701,197,000.
(6) For the Navy Reserve, $1,766,408,000.
(7) For the Marine Corps Reserve, $593,961,000.
(8) For the Air Force Reserve, $1,356,618,000.
(9) For the Army National Guard, $5,914,979,000.
(10) For the Air National Guard, $2,607,456,000.

The following sections are simply part of the very large bill itself, but we are specifying them for those that are affected so they know exactly where in the bill, linked above, to look for the information.

In TITLE V--Military Personnel Policy, Subtitle G--Military Family Readiness-SEC. 582. Department Of Defense Policy And Plans For Military Family Readiness and SEC. 583. Family Support For Families Of Members Of The Armed Forces Undergoing Deployment, Including National Guard And Reserve Personnel, they deal with readiness and support for the families of those that will be deployed and are deployed as well as those returning from deployment.

TITLE VI--Compensation And Other Personnel Benefits, Subtitle A-- deals with Pay and Allowances.

Section 601 (b) deals with Increase in Basic Pay. (The 3.5 pay increase)

TITLE XV--Operation Iraqi Freedom An Operation Enduring Freedom-Subtitle A--Authorization of Additional War-Related Appropriations. (War funding)

As stated above, this is a very large bill to weed through for specific information and different aspects will interest different people, so go through it title by title to find the areas that interest you the most.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell:

“I was pleased to see ... no policy changes to the Petraeus plan,” said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, a Kentucky Republican, referring to the U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, whose plan for a temporary boost in U.S. troops in Iraq has been credited with reducing violence.

Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin:

“The effort (to change course in Iraq) is not over,” Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin said after the vote. But the Michigan Democrat did not know what the next step in that struggle would be.

In other words, they will keep trying, they just don't have a plan yet.

Reactions from around the blogosphere vary, some of them are listed below:

The American Street:

Certainly I didn’t work so hard so a “Democratic” led Congress could send Bush yet another blank check for war funding– hundreds of billions of more unchecked spending, without even a suggestion of limitation or control of the Iraq or Afghanistan war projects. And not so that a bill repealing all possible accountability for private sector actors who cooperated in blatantly illegal and unconstitutional eavesdropping on American citizens might be liable for it would be championed by Harry Reid of all people. Or to give up on real reform for alternative minimum tax relief because billionaires might have to pay more taxes.

Boo hoo… a Democratic majority in both houses that can’t get anything done– and instead of scoring points (the way Newt did in minority) by pointing to the outrageous things the opposition stands for and the dirty tactics they are using… the Dems prefer caving on everything, and losing… for losing. And giving the most unpopular president of our time… everything he wants.

Michelle Malkin:

The Democrat meltdown continues–and finally, a Senate defense bill will get to the president’s desk. With no timetable strings attached. Code Pinkos will be seeing red.

The Democratic Daily:

Five hundred plus billion dollars for the military, and $190 billion of that authorized just for fighting in the Mideast, with the total package being so popular that it was able to swing 90 votes. I don’t know of any to interpret this other than that we obviously need at least 90 new members of the Senate.

Captain's Quarters:

Next week, Republicans will try to finish funding the Department of Defense and the troops in the war zones. Democrats will try again to attach demands to replace the current strategy of aggressive engagement against terrorists and building stability in Iraq with their preferred strategy of surrender and retreat. That effort will end as this effort did, and likely with the same weekend-eve capitulation to reality.

Gateway Pundit:

The Senate democrats voted in favor of funding the troops at war after all.

ROK Drop:

I’m not surprised this bill finally passed because if the Democrats did not pass the bill and put all these civilians personnel working for the military in the unemployment line before Christmas, they would stand no chance of winning the election next year. The bill passed in the Senate with a vote of 90-3. Take a look at who did not vote. Is anyone surprised?

Life has taught us:

In a mad rush to finish a legislative agenda before the holiday break, the Senate threw away their common sense and reason as they passed three terrible pieces of legislation yesterday. Senators got into the holiday spirit a bit early by delivering almost every item on the wish list of big business and the Bush Administration. The rest of us were left with a big old lump of coal in our stockings. Of course, we will have to exchange a clean environment for that lump of coal, but never too worry, the Senate already figured that out in their Energy Bill.

Muddy Canvas:

Of course, they approved, actually they GAVE Bush the $190 Billion for the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

How can you take the Democratic party seriously when they blame the MINORITY Republican party in the House and Senate for bullying them into approving the spending bill.

It makes no sense…and they want us to elect a Democratic President.

Rhymes with Right:

Now the next big issue is whether or not the Congress will actually appropriate the money they just authorized. What an absurd system! This means that Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, Jon Murtha and the rest of the Surrender At Any Cost Caucus can once again act on behalf of al-Qaeda to ensure the defeat of American forces in Iraq.

Reactions about this news story were found at memeorandum and technorati.

Another reaction from A Newt One:

I find it curious that the War Funding Bill was passed so late on a Friday evening. In the dark of night, as a weekend starts and the moonbats are out partaking in adult liquid indulgements (another new word invented by Snooper) and the old hippies still drugging it out.