Sanders Opposes Iraq War Funding, Supports Domestic Spending Bill

WASHINGTON, December 18 - The Senate late tonight approved a massive domestic spending bill that Senate Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) supported after he voted against a separate measure to continue funding the war in Iraq.

The final votes on the spending measures came after the Senate rejected a proposal cosponsored by Sanders to bring troops home from Iraq by next May. The amendment by Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.) was defeated 71 to 24.

By a 76 to 17 vote, Sanders joined the majority that approved funding for domestic agencies and the foreign aid budget for the fiscal year that began last Oct. 1.

A separate measure that senators approved 70 to 25 provides $70 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Sanders voted against that legislation.

"The war spending legislation contains $40 billion for Iraq operations with no strings attached to be used as President Bush wishes with no accountability for when our involvement in Iraq will end," Sanders said. "With expenditures of $12 billion a month, it is now estimated that the total cost of our Iraq involvement will end up being more than $1 trillion.

"I cannot support providing more money for continuing our ill-conceived and tragic presence in Iraq with no requirement for when our redeployment will begin, when it will be concluded, and what our future course in Iraq will be. This war has been a disaster from day one. It is time to bring our troops home."