House Rejects $162.5B Bill to Fund Wars
Republicans abstain in protest, leading to surprise defeat
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 15, 2008 5:10 PM CDT
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif., at podium, leads a House Democratic Leadership news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, May 14, 2008.    (AP Photo/Lawrence Jackson)
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(Newser) – The House today shot down a $162.5 billion bill to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan into next year after a surprise tactic by angry Republicans, the Washington Post reports. The bill failed by a vote of 148-141 after 132 members of the GOP abstained. By doing so, they formed an unusual coalition with a group of anti-war Democrats. The vote doesn't mean the wars won't be funded, however—the bill will be revived in the Senate next week.

"We're playing political games on the backs of our troops," said Republican John A. Boehner. He and other members of the GOP were upset that Democrats split the war bill into three parts and charged that Dems drafted it in secret. The other two parts—calling for all troops to be out by the end of 2009 and expanding benefits for veterans—passed. The bill now proceeds to the Senate, though without any war funding.