Democrats Stand Up for US and the Military

In the reporting of today's House and Senate votes on President Bush's $87 billion request for the military and reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, one item was nearly lost. Once again, it wasn't the Republicans that stood up for our men and women in uniform, but Democrats like Rep. David R. Obey (D-Wis.).

The Senate voted 51 to 47 to make half of President Bush's $20.3 billion Iraq rebuilding plan into a loan, thanks to an outbreak of sanity among eight Republican Senators: Ben Nighthorse Campbell (Colo.), John Ensign (Nev.), Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.), Olympia J. Snowe (Maine), Sam Brownback (Kans.), Saxby Chambliss (Ga.), Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine). Their votes came despite the fact that four Democrats went the other way: Zell Miller (Ga.), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Daniel K. Inouye (Hawaii) and Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.).

"I don't want to give in to a great lie. You can't buy your way out of this problem," said Graham, one of the five Republican co-authors of the Senate's loan provision. "You can't take $10 billion of taxpayer money, [while] people are losing their jobs, to buy your way out of a great lie. It would be terrible if the people of this country who have sacrificed so much wound up not getting a dime back."

One can only guess which of the Bush administration's many lies that Senator Graham was referring to.

This patriot also noticed that Rep. Obey proposed an amendment

that would have shifted $3.6 billion from the Iraq reconstruction fund to the U.S. military to pay for the medical and dental screening of military reservists, for family assistance centers, for pre-paid phone cards for the troops in Iraq, for the transportation of troops on rest-and-relaxation leave, for the construction of more water treatment and power plants for the deployed troops, and for the repair and replacement of damaged equipment. The amendment died, 216 to 209.

If this president and his party were serious about supporting our troops, they would support such an amendment in a heartbeat. Obey has proven several times now that they couldn't care less about the American people, even those who serve in our armed forces.