House rejects Dem efforts to limit Iraq, Afghanistan funding

The House turned away several amendments Wednesday night that would have cut spending in the 2013 Defense Department spending bill, including one that would have cut $20 billion from the overseas deployment account.

Democrats started debate on the bill earlier in the day by protesting ongoing military activities in Afghanistan, and were joined by several sympathetic Republicans.

But as expected, members rejected proposals to actually trim spending. An amendment from Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) to cut $20.8 billion from overseas operations failed in a 107-312 vote in which 99 Democrats voted for it, and 81 voted against. Only eight Republicans favored this proposal.

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By similar margins, the House also rejected two amendments from Rep. Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) that would have cut spending by a total of $2 billion.

However, the House did approve an amendment from Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) that would cut $175 million from a fund that pays for infrastructure development in Afghanistan. The House approved that language in a 228-191 vote.

Elsewhere, the House accepted amendments boosting funding for Gulf War illness research, and research into spinal cord, brain, and eye injury research. The House also approved language that would prevent another round of Base Realignment and Closure, and cut half the money in the bill going to Pakistan.

The House adjourned shortly after finish roll call votes on 15 amendments, and were expected to consider additional amendments on Thursday.

Rejected in roll call votes:

• Betty McCollum (D-Minn.), to cut spending on military bands by $188 million, and using the money for deficit reduction. Failed 166-250.

• Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), to funding for one DDG-151 Destroyer by $998 million and transfer the savings to the Spending Reduction Account. Failed 60-359.

• Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.), to reduce Other Procurement, Navy by $506 million increasing cancer research by $470 million. Failed 145-273.

• Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.), to delete funding for Rapid Innovation Fund  ($250 million) and transfer the savings to the Spending Reduction Account. Failed 137-282.

• Ed Markey (D-Mass.), to reduce ground based missile defense by $75 million and transfers the savings to the Spending Reduction Account. Failed 150-268.

• Justin Amash (R-Mich.), to strike Sec. 8039 regarding contracting. Failed 186-233.

• David Cicilline (D-R.I.), to reduce the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund by $375 million and transfers the savings to the Spending Reduction Account. Failed 149-270.

• Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.), to reduce overall spending in the bill by $181 million. Failed 114-302.

• Markey, to prohibit funds from being used to operate or maintain more than 300 land-based ICBMs. Failed 136-283.

• Steve King (R-Iowa), to prohibit funds from being used to implement the Davis-Bacon prevailing wage law. Failed 182-235.

Accepted by voice vote:

• Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.), to reduce Operations and Maintenance, Air Force by $24 million and transfer the same amount to Operations and Maintenance, Air National Guard and Air Force Procurement, Air Force (intended for purchasing Air National Guard firefighting equipment).

• Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), to transfer $10 million from Operations and Maintenance, Navy to Defense Health Programs for Gulf War Illness research.

• James Langevin (D-R.I.), to transfer $15 million from Operations and Maintenance, Defense-wide for spinal cord research.

• Pete Sessions (R-Texas), to transfer $10 million from Operations and Maintenance, Defense-wide to brain injury research and treatment.

• Tim Walz (D-Minn.), to transfer $5 million from Operations and Maintenance, Defense-wide to eye injury research.

• Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.), to study the type of medical equipment needed for emergency mission by the National Guard.

• Walter Jones (R-N.C.), to move incentive pay for Afghan security forces to American service members in Afghanistan.

• Jason Altmire (D-Pa.), to increase Operations and Maintenance, Army Reserve by $5.5 million and Operations and Maintenance, Army National Guard by $10 million and reduces Overseas Contingency Operations Transfer Fund $18.5 million.

• Leonard Boswell (D-Wash.), to reduce Afghan security forces funds by $22 million and increases suicide prevention outreach by $10 million.

• Frank LoBiondo (R-N.J.), to prohibit funds from being used for unmanned aerial missions in contravention of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution (unreasonable search and seizure).

• Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), to prohibit funds from being used to enter into a contract for Leak Proof Drip Pans unless competitive bidding procedures are used.

• Rob Wittman (R-Va.), to prohibit funds from being used to plan or implement an additional base realignment and closure (BRAC) round.

• Poe, to cut half the money going to Pakistan, $650 million.

• Brian Bilbray (R-Calif.), to prohibit funds from being used to remove the War Memorial at Mount Soledad in San Diego, CA.

Rejected by voice vote:

• Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.), to reduce Operations and Maintenance, Defense-wide by $89 million and transfer the same amount to Environmental Restoration.

• Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), to transfer $30 million from Operations and Maintenance, Defense-wide to Research and Development, Test, and Evaluation for cyber defense, advanced communication, and information technology programs.

• Brian Higgins (D-N.Y.), to transfer $10 million from Operations and Maintenance, Defense-wide to research into threats caused by weapons of mass destruction.

• Joe Baca (D-Calif.), to transfer $10 million from Operations and Maintenance, Defense-wide to Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation, Defense-wide.

• Jackie Speier (D-Calif.), to reduce the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund by $120 million and transfers the savings to the Spending Reduction Account.

Withdrawn or subject to a point of order:

• Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), to move money from the Overseas Contingency Funds to General Purposes Allocations. Point of order.

• Kucinich, to transfer $7.8 million from Operations and Maintenance, Defense-wide to Defense Health Programs for suicide prevention research. Withdrawn.

• Poe, to reduce coalition support funds for Pakistan by $1.3 billion and transfers the savings to Spending Reduction Account. Withdrawn.

• Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), to prohibit funds from exceeding FY2008 levels unless the Department of Defense completes an audit within 180 days. Point of order.