US House endorses continued war in Afghanistan despite war-weariness of Americans
Washington, May 18 (ANI): The Republican-controlled US House has endorsed continued war in Afghanistan, despite recognizing from the Republicans and Democrats that the Americans were tired of more than a decade conflict.
With 303-113 votes, the lawmakers rejected an amendment in the defense bill that would have ended combat operations in Afghanistan by limiting funds only for safe and systematic withdrawal of U.S. troops and military contractors from Afghanistan.
The vote came as the House was considering a 642 billion dollars defense budget for next year, debating more than 140 amendments to the far-reaching legislation, Fox News reports.
"The American people are far ahead of Congress," said Republican Barbara Lee, D-Calif., sponsor of the amendment, who called on Congress to stand squarely with the American people. "It's past time to end the war and bring the troops home."
Rather than a speedy withdrawal from Afghanistan, the budget calls for keeping a sizable number of U.S. combat troops in the country.
"If we leave too early and the Taliban and al-Qaida return, more Americans will suffer," Fox News quoted Republican Mac Thornberry, R-Texas, saying.
The 642 billion dollars budget, 8 billion dollars more than last year, provides funds for aircraft, ships, weapons, the war in Afghanistan and a 1.7 percent pay raise for military personnel.
Both the Democrats and Republicans backed the overall bill's provision that calls President Barack Obama to keep 68,000 troops in Afghanistan until the end of 2014 unless fewer troops can achieve U.S. objectives.
The United States currently has 88,000 troops there. Earlier this month, Obama signed an agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai on the role of America forces in counter terrorism and training of the Afghan military. (ANI)
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