They really, really support the troops

The House approves a Republican resolution on Iraq.

Published June 16, 2006 7:02PM (EDT)

Republican congressmen like Walter Jones and Ron Paul hoped that the House of Representatives might have a serious debate about the future of a war that has claimed 2,500 American lives. Dennis Hastert, John Boehner and others in the Republican leadership thought it was more important to jam Democrats and other war critics with an all-or-nothing vote on a support-the-troops-or-else resolution.

Guess which side prevailed?

Soldiers in the field and patriots everywhere can rest easy this afternoon, knowing that the House of Representatives has got their backs. By a vote of 256-153, the House today approved a resolution that rejects any "arbitrary" timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops and declares that the United States "will prevail in the Global War on Terror." The Republican leadership refused to allow any amendments to the resolution, leaving opponents with a choice that wasn't much choice at all: Vote in favor of the resolution, or be prepared to stand accused of supporting an "arbitrary" timeline for troop withdrawal and predicting U.S. defeat at the hands of terrorists. Oh, and this, too: To vote against the measure, you also had to vote against the part that said that the House "honors all those Americans who have taken an active part in the Global War on Terror, whether as first responders protecting the homeland, as servicemembers overseas, as diplomats and intelligence officers, or in other roles."

With elections approaching in November, it's remarkable that anyone took the risk of voting no. The 152 members who did were mostly Democrats, but three Republicans crossed over to join them. Forty-two Democrats voted with the Republican leadership. Two Democrats and three Republicans voted "present"; 19 other members didn't vote at all.

You can see how your representative voted here.

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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