RECENT VOTES

Supplemental Appropriations

On May 14, 2009, the House considered H.R. 2346: Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2009. This bill provides additional funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as funding for Pakistan. After a great deal of reflection, I decided that I could not support this measure. In the final analysis, I simply do not believe that H.R. 2346 does enough to get us closer to the true goal of ending these conflicts.

I think that President Obama is committed to changing course in Iraq and Afghanistan and I struggled over whether to support this bill as a show of faith. Ultimately, my decision came down to my belief that our policies toward Iraq and Afghanistan are inadequately formulated at this time. I still have too many unanswered questions over how we will bring an end to these conflicts and I feared that a vote in support of this proposal might imply that I accept the current situation as is. That is why I am supporting legislation filed by my colleague, Congressman Jim McGovern that calls on the President to submit to Congress by December 31, 2009, a report on his exit strategy for Afghanistan. Congressional support for Mr. McGovern's bill should make plain our insistence that the Administration must clarify its military and diplomatic strategy.

It is important to note that a new commander for Afghanistan was appointed this week, so a revised strategy may be taking shape. As far as Pakistan is concerned, I do believe that the Taliban poses a grave threat to a nuclear armed nation. Furthermore, instability in its frontier regions has a direct and dangerous impact on Afghanistan. I recognize the need for additional assistance to Pakistan so that its security forces can combat these challenges. However, H.R. 2346 provides the monetary support without any conditions for its use and an amendment proposed by Congressman John Tierney to add some specific conditions was not allowed to the floor for a vote.

I voted NO. H.R. 2346 passed in the House and the entire vote is recorded below:

  YEA NAY PRESENT NOT VOTING
DEMOCRAT

200

51

0

4

REPUBLICAN

168

9

0

1

TOTAL

368

60

19

5

MASSACHUSETTS
DELEGATION

2

7

0

1