Legislative Working Group
May 15, 2008

In an amazing turn of events, the House of Representatives today voted AGAINST the supplemental funding for the war in Iraq!!

The bill would have provided $166 billion in war funding, the largest single provision since the war started in 2003. In a move that no one expected, dozens of Republicans voted "present," which is the same as abstaining on the vote. This meant that the 149 NO votes were enough to defeat the bill. (141 votes were cast in favor.)

This is a tremendous victory for the antiwar movement. The hard work of people all around the country secured those 149 clear NO votes. Click here for the roll call to see how your representative voted.

But our work is far from over.

The bill now moves to the Senate, where we can expect an attempt to add the war funding back into the bill. After that, the bill will go to a conference committee, then back for a re-vote in both the House and the Senate. That means we need to keep up the pressure on both the House and the Senate.

Here's what you can do:
1) If your member of the House voted NO on the funding, call your rep (202-224-3121), say thanks and ask him or her to hold firm over the next few weeks.

2) If your member voted yes or present, call your rep (202-224-3121)
and tell him or her to vote against any funding bill that might come before the House in the new few weeks.

3) We must all escalate our pressure on the Senate! Call your two senators (202-224-3121) and let them know how strongly you oppose further funding for this war! (If you don't know who your representative and senators are, click here.)

4) Write letters to your local newspapers, call into radio talk shows, organize a vigil or picket in front of your senators' local offices, or put together a non-violent civil disobedience action at their offices. (Click here to find where their offices are located.)

5) Get word out that parts of the 4 hours of Winter Soldier testimony that was delivered at a hearing organized by the Congressional Progressive Caucus on Capitol Hill this morning will be broadcast on the "News Hour with Jim Lehrer" (PBS) tomorrow evening! (You can also watch the hearings on the C-SPAN website.)

Let us claim this victory and at the same time push as hard as we can to stop the Senate from giving the green light on billions more of our tax dollars going into this war and occupation.

We urge you to take a moment right now to make a donation to UFPJ. We need your support to make sure we can keep doing this work in the strongest way possible. Click here to make your contribution now.

Additional Information
Two other measures were passed in the House this afternoon. The first of those had some good provisions (no permanent bases, no use of torture), but also included a non-binding goal for the withdrawal of U.S. troops to be completed by December 2009. This would keep our troops in Iraq for another year and half, and this timeline is only a goal. In other words, this doesn't even come close to our call for all of the troops to come home now. The second measure that passed today would increase veterans benefits and provide funding for some important domestic needs.

We expect the Senate to vote next week. We would have predicted that they would put the war funding back into the measure, take out the conditions they don't like (such as the goal for withdrawal), and make changes to the domestic funding package. Given the un-expected development in the House, all bets are off on what the Senate will do. After the Senate acts on the package, both chambers will negotiate and try to come up with a compromise, which will then go before both chamber for a re-vote.

Yours, for peace and justice,


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