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McCaskill-Obama amendment stripped from Iraq funding bill

Claire McCaskill and Barack Obama

By Adam Allington, KWMU

Washington, DC – The wartime spending bill that passed in the Senate Thursday had multiple appropriations attached to it. However, an amendment to provide more funding for wounded veterans did not make the final cut despite strong bi-partisan support.

When the Senate began debate on the current Iraq spending bill, Republicans and Democrats made a list of pork appropriations they could both agree on.

One was a $103 million amendment by Senators McCaskill and Obama which would have provided more funding for wounded veterans.

Senator McCaskill of Missouri says Republicans sunk the whole bi-partisan list, over a disagreement about troop withdrawal timetables.

"And so within that disagreement there are things that are being victimized and are being sacrificed and this instance the urgent and immediate need to take care of our wounded has been left behind," says McCaskill.

The McCaskill-Obama legislation is not completely dead it's part of another bill currently on its way through congress.

In a mostly party line 51-47 vote, the Senate approved a bill providing $123 billion to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The bill also sets a nonbinding goal of ending combat operations by March 31, 2008. Yesterday, President Bush reiterated his position to veto any bill with a timetable attachment.

McCaskill said that Senate Democrats will not back down from their insistence for a timetable.

"I think your gonna see senators trying to change what we're doing in Iraq. And I think you're gonna see us keep pushing and pushing and pushing, until one of two things happen the president changes his position or we elect a new president."

Senator McCaskill and fellow Democrat Dick Durbin of Illinois will tour the Jefferson Barracks VA Medical Center in St. Louis on Friday.


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