A much-delayed Iraq war funding bill sailed through the House tonight, along with a doubling of college aid for returning troops and help for the unemployed and Midwestern flood victims. Republican allies of President Bush provided the winning margin in a 268-155 vote to provide $162 billion to fund US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan well into next year.
Democrats opposed to the war, however, succeeded in using the Iraq funding bill as an engine to drive past White House resistance a sweeping revision to GI Bill college benefits and a 13-week extension of unemployment checks for those whose benefits have run out. Lawmakers separately approved those domestic add-ons by a 416-12 vote, sending the combined bill to the Senate for a vote next week. The White House supports the legislation.