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The House rejects liberals' plan to require Iraq to repay half of the $20 billion requested for reconstruction.

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Roll Call: House Nixes Loans for Iraq

The House rejects liberals’ plan to require Iraq to repay half of the $20 billion requested for reconstruction.

On October 17, by a vote of 200 to 226, the House rejected a Democratic amendment that would have turned half of the U.S. reconstruction package in Iraq into a loan instead of a grant.

The amendment to the Iraq supplemental spending bill (H.R. 3289) was sponsored by Rep. David Obey (D.-Wis.).

It aimed to correct what the liberal congressman called “compulsive statesmanship, a tendency for people to want to do the right thing so badly that they sometimes lean overboard in taking into consideration the interests of other countries and in the process miss opportunities to take into account the interests of our own.”

“I think it is absolutely legitimate to consider requiring 50% of the money that we spend in this reconstruction operation to be provided in the form of loans,” he said. “It is misleading to assume that because the United States is a rich country and Iraq is a somewhat poorer country that we are in a better position to pay off foreign debts than they are. We are not. . . This country has run such large trade deficits for so long, and we are going to be running such huge trade deficits in the future, that our country has no realistic possibility anytime in the next decade to be paying off any significant portion of our own foreign debt. . . Because Iraq has a long-term prospect of multi-billion-dollar benefits from the oil they have in the ground, it in fact means that the United States has less of an ability to pay off foreign debt in the future than Iraq does.”

Although he did not include any such language in his amendment, Obey said he hoped the President would negotiate a loan through the World Bank that would include matching funds from other countries. This caused some pro-loan conservatives, such as Rep. Mike Pence (R.-Ind.), to vote against the amendment.

Rep. Roger Wicker (R.-Miss.) argued against the amendment. “Iraq already has well over $100 billion in outstanding debt,” said Wicker. “Obviously, we are working to get this debt restructured, but still, the nation will be left with enormous obligations for past borrowing.”

Wicker argued that the United States would set a poor example for the world if it gives the money to Iraq as a loan. “Creating a new U.S. debt will dampen our efforts to get others to forgive debt,” he said.

“Secretary Powell and others are going to Madrid to get donors to contribute to the reconstructing of Iraq,” Weldon continued, referring to an upcoming conference in Spain. “Japan is talking about contributing a substantial amount of money, it may be $1.5 billion, in grants. We are hoping that it will more closely approach the figure of $5 billion in grants. If we were to enter into a policy of loans even for a portion of this, then the Madrid conference would be changed to a loaners conference rather than a donors conference, and we would lose a great opportunity.”

The amendment was opposed mostly by Republicans, who wanted to be supportive of President Bush’s request for grants, not loans. The amendment was generally supported by Democrats looking to embarrass the President over failures in Iraq, as well as a handful of conservatives who oppose spending taxpayer money to rebuild the oil-rich nation.

A “yes” vote was a vote for the Obey amendment, to turn half of the Iraq reconstruction funding into a loan package. A “no” vote was a vote against the amendment.

FOR THE AMENDMENT: 200 AGAINST THE AMENDMENT: 226
REPUBLICANS FOR: 18
Bilirakis
Burton (IN)
Chabot
Coble
Duncan
Feeney
Hulshof
Istook
Jones (NC)
Ose
Paul
Petri
Ramstad
Rohrabacher
Sensenbrenner
Smith (MI)
Stearns
Tiberi

DEMOCRATS FOR: 181
Abercrombie
Ackerman
Alexander
Andrews
Baca
Baird
Baldwin
Ballance
Becerra
Bell
Berkley
Berman
Berry
Bishop (GA)
Bishop (NY)
Blumenauer
Boswell
Boucher
Boyd
Brady (PA)
Brown, Corrine
Brown (OH)
Capps
Capuano
Cardin
Cardoza
Carson (IN)
Carson (OK)
Clyburn
Conyers
Cooper
Costello
Crowley
Cummings
Davis (AL)
Davis (CA)
Davis (IL)
Davis (TN)
DeFazio
Delahunt
DeLauro
Deutsch
Dingell
Doggett
Doyle
Edwards
Emanuel
Engel
Eshoo
Etheridge
Evans
Farr
Fattah
Filner
Ford
Frank (MA)
Frost
Gonzalez
Gordon
Green (TX)
Grijalva
Gutierrez
Hall
Harman
Hastings (FL)
Hill
Hinchey
Hinojosa
Hoeffel
Holden
Holt
Honda
Hooley (OR)
Inslee
Israel
Jackson (IL)
Jackson-Lee (TX)
Jefferson
John
Johnson, E. B.
Kanjorski
Kaptur
Kennedy (RI)
Kildee
Kilpatrick
Kind
Kleczka
Lampson
Langevin
Lantos
Larson (CT)
Lee
Levin
Lewis (GA)
Lipinski
Lofgren
Lowey
Lucas (KY)
Lynch
Majette
Maloney
Markey
Matheson
Matsui
McCarthy (MO)
McCarthy (NY)
McCollum
McGovern
McIntyre
McNulty
Meehan
Meek (FL)
Meeks (NY)
Menendez
Michaud
Millender-McDonald
Miller, George
Miller (NC)
Moore
Nadler
Napolitano
Neal (MA)
Obey
Olver
Ortiz
Owens
Pallone
Pascrell
Pastor
Payne
Pelosi
Peterson (MN)
Pomeroy
Price (NC)
Rahall
Rangel
Reyes
Rodriguez
Ross
Rothman
Roybal-Allard
Ruppersberger
Rush
Ryan (OH)
Sabo
Sanchez, Linda
Sanchez, Loretta
Sandlin
Schakowsky
Schiff
Scott (GA)
Scott (VA)
Serrano
Sherman
Slaughter
Solis
Spratt
Stenholm
Strickland
Stupak
Tanner
Tauscher
Taylor (MS)
Thompson (CA)
Thompson (MS)
Tierney
Towns
Turner (TX)
Udall (CO)
Udall (NM)
Velazquez
Visclosky
Waters
Watson
Watt
Waxman
Weiner
Wexler
Woolsey
Wu
Wynn

INDEPENDENTS FOR: 1
Sanders

REPUBLICANS AGAINST: 208
Aderholt
Akin
Bachus
Baker
Ballenger
Barrett (SC)
Bartlett (MD)
Barton (TX)
Bass
Beauprez
Bereuter
Biggert
Bishop (UT)
Blackburn
Blunt
Boehlert
Boehner
Bonilla
Bonner
Bono
Boozman
Bradley (NH)
Brady (TX)
Brown (SC)
Brown-Waite, V.
Burgess
Burns
Burr
Buyer
Calvert
Camp
Cannon
Cantor
Capito
Carter
Castle
Chocola
Cole
Collins
Cox
Crane
Crenshaw
Cubin
Culberson
Cunningham
Davis, Jo Ann
Davis, Tom
Deal (GA)
DeLay
DeMint
Diaz-Balart, L.
Diaz-Balart, M.
Doolittle
Dreier
Dunn
Ehlers
Emerson
English
Everett
Ferguson
Flake
Fletcher
Foley
Forbes
Fossella
Franks (AZ)
Frelinghuysen
Gallegly
Garrett (NJ)
Gerlach
Gibbons
Gilchrest
Gillmor
Gingrey
Goode
Goodlatte
Goss
Granger
Graves
Green (WI)
Greenwood
Gutknecht
Harris
Hart
Hastert
Hastings (WA)
Hayes
Hayworth
Hefley
Hensarling
Herger
Hobson
Hoekstra
Hostettler
Houghton
Hunter
Hyde
Isakson
Issa
Janklow
Jenkins
Johnson, Sam
Johnson (CT)
Johnson (IL)
Keller
Kelly
Kennedy (MN)
King (IA)
King (NY)
Kingston
Kirk
Kline
Knollenberg
Kolbe
LaHood
Latham
LaTourette
Leach
Lewis (CA)
Lewis (KY)
Linder
LoBiondo
Lucas (OK)
Manzullo
McCotter
McCrery
McHugh
McInnis
Mica
Miller, Gary
Miller (FL)
Miller (MI)
Moran (KS)
Murphy
Musgrave
Myrick
Nethercutt
Neugebauer
Ney
Northup
Norwood
Nunes
Nussle
Osborne
Otter
Oxley
Pearce
Pence
Peterson (PA)
Pickering
Pitts
Platts
Pombo
Porter
Portman
Pryce (OH)
Quinn
Radanovich
Regula
Rehberg
Renzi
Reynolds
Rogers (AL)
Rogers (KY)
Rogers (MI)
Ros-Lehtinen
Royce
Ryan (WI)
Ryun (KS)
Saxton
Schrock
Sessions
Shadegg
Shaw
Shays
Sherwood
Shimkus
Shuster
Simmons
Simpson
Smith (NJ)
Smith (TX)
Sullivan
Sweeney
Tancredo
Tauzin
Taylor (NC)
Terry
Thomas
Thornberry
Tiahrt
Toomey
Turner (OH)
Upton
Vitter
Walden (OR)
Walsh
Wamp
Weldon (FL)
Weldon (PA)
Weller
Whitfield
Wicker
Wilson (NM)
Wilson (SC)
Wolf
Young (AK)
Young (FL)

DEMOCRATS AGAINST: 18
Allen
Case
Cramer
Davis (FL)
DeGette
Dicks
Dooley (CA)
Hoyer
Kucinich
Larsen (WA)
McDermott
Mollohan
Murtha
Skelton
Smith (WA)
Snyder
Stark
Van Hollen

NOT VOTING: 9

REPUBLICANS (3): DEMOCRATS (6): INDEPENDENTS (0)
McKeon
Putnam
Souder
Clay
Gephardt
Jones (OH)
Marshall
Moran (VA)
Oberstar
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