The House voted to support $33 billion for President Obama’s troop surge in Afghanistan Thursday, by 321-93 in a tentative count. Eighty-five Democrats were in favor, 98 against, while eight Republicans supported the cut.
The legislation, introduced by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, was identical to one last year, which received 65 House votes, or an increase of 28 votes. The legislation requires the President to being withdrawing American troops in either 30 days or no later than the end of 2011.
Advocates pointed to the two-hour floor debate and the increase of 28 votes as steps forward. Others said the measure showed the Congressional peace bloc to be weaker than it actually is, since other bills last year received 100 [Lee] and 162 [McGovern] votes. Some argued the withdrawal timeline was too rapid to attract additional House votes.
In any case, there is no possibility of an anti-war measure passing Congress this year. The most relevant questions are whether any measure can obtain a majority of House Democrats and increase the totals on similar measures last year.