WASHINGTON · The Pentagon would get an additional $25 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and 7 percent more for the rest of its programs in a $417.5 billion defense bill the Senate approved Thursday.
With money for 39 more Army Black Hawk helicopters, a Virginia-class attack submarine and a 3.5 percent pay raise for the troops, the measure showed strong wartime support for the military, crossing party lines.
Eager to affirm their backing less than four months from Election Day, the Senate approved the measure 96-0 and the House shipped it to President Bush by 410-12. The votes came just hours before Congress was to start a six-week summer recess.
It was the first of the 13 spending bills financing the government for 2005 that the Republican-run House and Senate were sending to the White House.
In other budget work:
>The House Appropriations Committee passed a $90 billion bill financing the Transportation and Treasury departments after voting 42-16 to give civilian federal workers the same 3.5 percent raise as members of the military.
>The same panel approved $92.9 billion for veterans, housing and space programs after fighting off separate efforts by Democrats and conservative Republicans to increase veterans health-care spending. The bill would cut funds for NASA, environment and science programs and increase veterans health care to $30.3 billion -- still $1.3 billion less than veterans' groups want.
Judicial nominees blocked: Senate Democrats blocked three more of President Bush's judicial nominees Thursday in a series of votes forced by Republicans even though they knew they would lose.
Through procedural votes, the Senate refused to consider three Michigan jurists Bush wanted to put on the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
Republicans needed 60 votes to advance the nominees but could not come up with more than 54 on behalf of any of them. The Senate voted 52-46 to proceed with a vote on Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Henry Saad's nomination, 54-44 on Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Richard Griffin and 53-44 on promoting U.S. District Court Judge David McKeague.
[quote][i]Originally posted by Tom The Nader Fan™[/i]@Jul 23 2004, 09:46 AM
[b] the Senate approved the measure 96-0 and the House shipped it to President Bush by 410-12. [/b][/quote]
The 12 who voted against?
The usual suspects:
Raul Grijalva (D AR), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Fortney Stark (D-CA), Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), John Lewis (D-GA),
Janice Schakowsky (D-IL), John Conyers (D-MI), Melvin Watt (D-NC), Donald Payne (D-NJ), Major Owens (D-NY),
Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), Jim McDermott (D-WA).
All Democrats (goes without saying). I couldn't find who the missing 4 senators are, though. Kerry's probably one of them. That POS.