War Supplemental Vote Early Next Week

Here is status of the Iraq-Afghanistan-Pakistan war supplemental bill for the remainder of 2009.

According to a report I received from a constituent who talked with Maine Rep. Chellie Pingree’s Military Legislative Assistant, Eric Hansen, the bill is in the House Appropriations Committee now and that it would likely be voted on in the House of Representatives as early as next week.

President Obama had requested $83 billion for the war supplemental but House Democrats have added $9.3 billion to that request to bring the supplemental to now stand at $94.2 billion.

According to Hansen Rep. Pingree would vote on the supplemental and he said that she wants to first "see what form the bill takes" before deciding on her vote. He said that the Congresswoman was wanting to see if bench marks and timelines were included in the bill. So far Obama has not submitted any timelines on ending the Afghanistan occupation.

Hansen said that the war supplemental will also include funds for economic assistance to the governments of Afghanistan and Pakistan. He talked about "soft power" options being important like moving some Pakistan funds from the Pentagon to the State Department’s control for diplomatic purposes and for expansion of counter-insurgency capabilities.

Hansen also said that Rep. Pingree was seriously considering signing on as a co-sponsor to a bill presented by Rep. Jim McGovern (D-MA) that would "require the Secretary of Defense to submit a report to Congress outlining the United States exit strategy for United States military forces in Afghanistan participating in Operation Enduring Freedom."

As of today the cost of the war in Afghanistan to American taxpayers has been more than $172 billion and the Iraq war has cost more than $656 billion.

It is important to remember that Obama has also already requested $130 billion for war funding for fiscal year 2010.

Please make a call immediately to your member of your state Congressional delegation. Urge them to vote against any more war funding.

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