From the Record: Democratic Party's Support for the War Program

August 28, 2006

Below we list some of the legislation passed by the House of Representatives to fund and carry out U.S. imperialism's war program since the beginning of the so-called "war on terrorism." The votes on these bills show the virtually unanimous support of the Congress - Democrats as well as Republicans - for the war program.

- September 14, 2001: The Congress, in a virtually unanimous vote, gave Bush the legal authority not only to launch war against Afghanistan but also to wage a "war against terrorism" anywhere and at any time. The House bill "To Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces" (passed by a vote of 420 to 1) reads, in part: "The President is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons."

- May 2, 2002: After Bush had given Ariel Sharon the green light to initiate the "second front in the war on terrorism" by invading and occupying every Palestinian town and city in the West Bank and Gaza and, at the very height of the Israeli invasion and vast international protests against the war, the U.S. House of Representatives passed HR 392 (vote: 352 to 31) expressing all-around support for Israel's war. The resolution reads in part: "the U.S. and Israel are now engaged in a common struggle against terrorism" and the U.S. "stands in solidarity with Israel's actions." In a similar resolution passed by a vote of 399 to 5, on June 5, 2003, Congress again endorsed the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and thanked Israel for its "fight against terrorism as part of the global war against terrorism."

- March 21, 2003: One day after the U.S. invasion of Iraq, House Congressional Resolution 104 (passed by a vote of 392 to 11) said: "The Congress expresses the unequivocal support and appreciation of the Nation - to the President as Commander-in-Chief for his firm leadership and decisive action in the conduct of military operations in Iraq as part of the on-going Global War on Terrorism."

- April 3, 2003: HR 1559, called the Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act and passed by a vote of 414 to 12 provided $78 billion for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

- June 4, 2003: House Resolution 177, passed 406 to 2 again "Commends President George W. Bush, Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld, and United States Central Command commander General Tommy Franks, United States Army, for their planning and execution of enormously successful military campaigns in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom."

- June 22, 2004: HR 4613, the Department of Defense (DOD) appropriations bill for FY2005, passed by 403 to 17, provided $391 billion for the military budget.

- June 20, 2005: HR 2863, DOD appropriations bill for FY2006, passed by 398 to 19, provided $453.5 billion for the military, including another $42 billion for the Iraq war.

- November 18, 2005: In another virtually unanimous vote (403 to 3), the House rejected HR 571 which demanded that "The deployment of United States forces in Iraq be terminated immediately."

- May 11, 2006: HR 5122, the Defense Authorization Act for FY2007, passed by 396 to 31 provides another $512.9 billion for the military budget.

- May 23, 2006: HR 4681, "Palestinian Anti-Terrorism Act," passed the House 361 to 37 shortly after the Palestinian people elected a new government. The bill condemns the Palestinian Authority (PA) as terrorist and blatantly interferes in the affairs of the Palestinian people. The bill cut off all U.S. contact and aid to the PA and "urged members of the international community to avoid contact with and refrain from financially supporting the terrorist organization Hamas or a Hamas-controlled Palestinian Authority."

- July 20, 2006: While Israel was invading both Lebanon and Gaza (in wars authorized and carried out together with the Bush administration) the House of Representatives passed HR 921, by a vote of 410 to 8. After condemning Hamas and Hezbollah as "terrorist," the resolution "supports Israel's right to take appropriate action to defend itself, including to conduct operations both in Israel and in the territory of nations which pose a threat to it." The resolution commends "the President of the United States for fully supporting Israel." While the whole world was condemning Israel's wanton murder of civilians, the U.S. Congress went so far as to commend "Israel's longstanding commitment to minimizing civilian loss and welcomes Israel's continued effort to prevent civilian casualties." The resolution further urged Bush to "bring the full force of political, diplomatic and economic sanctions available to the Government of the United States against the governments of Syria and Lebanon."