December 19th, 2007
12:17 PM ET
15 years ago

Clinton criticizes Senate on Iraq funding vote

Clinton attended a Chicago fundraiser Tuesday night.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton Wednesday criticized the Senate’s passage of additional funding for the war in Iraq, while dismissing a measure that would have set a timetable for U. S. troop withdrawal from the country.

The New York senator missed both votes Tuesday night, though the margin was big enough that she would not have made a difference in the final result. Instead, the Democratic presidential hopeful spent the evening at a fundraising event in Chicago.

“Last night, the Senate voted to add additional funding for Iraq to the Omnibus appropriations bill without any requirements to end the war,” Clinton said in a statement released by her Senate office. “As I have said before, I cannot and will not support continuing to fund a flawed and failed strategy in Iraq. I was proud to be a co-sponsor of an amendment offered by Sens. Russ Feingold and Harry Reid that would require the President to safely redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq within nine months after which funding for military operations in Iraq would be terminated.

“Unfortunately, the Senate rejected Sen. Feingold's amendment and instead voted to support funding for the Iraq war without any further limitations. Rather than continue with a flawed and failing policy in Iraq, it is time to change course. Therefore, I cannot support the addition of appropriations for Iraq to the supplemental appropriations bill,” said Clinton.

The Feingold amendment failed 71-24. The measure providing additional war funding passed 70-25. A nonbinding resolution that called for an end to the Iraq war without specifying a timetable for withdrawal failed because it did not receive the 60 votes required for passage – the final vote on that measure was 50-45.

The other Democratic senators seeking their party’s presidential nomination - Barack Obama of Illinois, Joe Biden of Delaware and Chris Dodd of Connecticut - also missed the Iraq funding votes. Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona, who opposes a timetable for troop withdrawal, canceled his New Hampshire campaign appearances Tuesday to return to Capitol Hill for the votes.

Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson told CNN that, "The outcome was not in question and her position was clear."

–CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. Jay, Nashua, NH

    So, I was curious about the math on the Amendment to set a timetable, by my count, 50+45=95 not 96 as one would expect if only the four listed were missing. Turns out, Senator Feinstein (D-CA) was also absent from the vote. So, the Democrats might not have had the necessary 60 votes for the required supermajority nor the 51 votes for a simple majority (Cheney would have cast the tiebreaker), but at least the Dems could make a stand based on an action they have taken, not one they haven't. I mean, McCain made it and cast a vote that follows his stance and he's also "on the campaign trail". I'm not convinced that all these folks in public office and running for office remember that it is supposed to be about public service and representing your constituents.

    [For those who like to look up and read the bills online at the Library of Congres THOMAS, H.R.2764 is the funding bill number and SA 3874 is the Sente Amendment discussed (as near as I can tell)]

    December 19, 2007 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  2. xtina - chicago, il

    I don't get it; if Hillary Clinton had strong convictions regarding Iraq why in the world wouldn't she go to Washington to vote on them?

    December 19, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  3. Mike, Ny, NY

    Hillary, I was convinced that you didn't have what it takes prior to this political stunt. You ducked the vote (your reponsibility) on a very difficult issue and then tried to turn it to your advantage. It is a disgrace! This only reinforces that you and Bill will do anything for power at the expense of the nation.

    December 19, 2007 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  4. Andy, New York, New York

    Funny thing is, despite saying she's against funding the war now, she already is on record stating that if she wins the presidency, US troops will still be in Iraq. Won't their extended stay require funding? When she talks about withdrawing troops, she is not being honest in telling us that not all troops will be withdrawn, yet she is not the military general on the ground to determine just how many troops should remain. Shaddup already Hillary. If you cared about the war, you'd'd have made that effort to vote instead of running behind elusive political power in the White House. You ain't gonna win. America's not really ready for YOU! Never has, never will!

    December 19, 2007 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |


    December 19, 2007 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  6. Tom Dedham, Mass

    ou people are funny. They dont care because it dosent affect them.If they really believe in this war? Then let them send there kids to iraq to fight and rebuid a county that has taken thousands of our children, mothers, fathers and loved ones.Over whate "nothing" except some arragent coward you call presedent.We got plenty of problems here that could use some atention.Dont get me started! theres a lot more were that came from.

    Posted By Troy King San Francisco California : December 19, 2007 6:30 pm

    Troy after reading your posting, I could not agree with you more.

    As a priority, we need to improve reading and writing skills in our classrooms.

    December 19, 2007 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  7. Leonard, Houston, Texas

    Re: Voting for/against Support to Iraq appropriations.
    3 Dems, 0; 1 Rep, 1.

    Thanks, McCain for voting. Thanks for taking the time. Thanks for understanding that leading by example is leadership. An acknowledgement of someone willing to stand up for their current responsibility during their time seeking a new one.

    December 19, 2007 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  8. Tony, Enterprise, Alabama

    Where is Obama?

    Once again this empty shirt fails to show up for a critical vote in the Senate. He consistently refuses to take a stand or vote on the issues that matter; then condemns others for their position.

    I hope by now that Americans have figured out what a failure he has been as a United States Senator, and how dangerously unqualified he is for the office of President.

    If I was from Illinois I would ask him to give his salary back, they sure aren't getting their moneys worth.

    Where I work if you don't show up you don't get paid.

    December 19, 2007 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm |
  9. Calla, San Diego

    Clinton is more concerned about her fundraising obligations than her voting duties as senator, registering her senate vote for NY.

    NY, how do you feel about that?

    The Clintons have always been obsessed with money, mo money mo money.

    December 20, 2007 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  10. mark wilkes barre PA

    People wake up !!! If the dem candidates would have showed up to vote it would have brought in 4 more votes, still not the 60 needed but close enough to make a story out of this. It is proof that these dems don't really even believe what there telling you followers. Senater Biden, has been behind some of the most heated rederick on the war and missed the vote ? these 4 candidates do not want to be nailed down during election season, plain and simple !!! what a back fire for the dems,, this story is no help to Biden , Dodd, Obama, clinton

    December 20, 2007 06:13 am at 6:13 am |
  11. Chip Celina OH

    If these schmucks are supposedly working for us as 'public servants' that should make us the bosses. I think that the American people should introduce some rules for these candidates to abide by. Miss a vote like this for a reason other than physical illness that requires hospitalization, you get fired and LOSE all of your sweet retirement pay given to members of Congress. Same for these jokers like Mark Foley and Larry Craig, et. al. Screw up like you have and you are GONE. I know my employer would not tolerate me blowing off my responsibilities, why should we allow these folks to do the same?

    Kudos to John McCain for being the only adult in the room on this one!

    December 20, 2007 08:27 am at 8:27 am |
  12. Anonymous

    Which Presidental candidates has done the most complete job we paid them for this year??

    December 20, 2007 08:58 am at 8:58 am |
  13. Anonymous

    The states should have to pay for their own reps, why do I as a national taxpayer have to foot the bill for those that would do nothing for me??

    December 20, 2007 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  14. Ajay Jain

    Spineless democrats that vote war funding without strings should be recelled from office if they were elected in 2006 cycle!

    December 20, 2007 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  15. RealityKing

    There are 11,331 earmarks in the appropriations bill. A 426 percent increase over last year. $2 million for the Charles Rangel Center for Public Service at New York City College, $1 million for a river walk in Massachusetts, $700,000 for a bike trail in Minnesota, all despite election promises from democrats.

    Hillary, criticized the passage of additional funding for the troops in Iraq..

    December 20, 2007 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  16. A N Stanley

    Words, words, words! Ms Clinton's hollow words are totally different from when she supported the effort to rid the world of Al Qaeda; it's just that now that her Dem potential voters are such haters of anything Bush, she says words, words, words to try to make them all think she agrees with them.

    December 20, 2007 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  17. A, Newport News, VA

    Typical Clinton...a fence straddler, non-committal, but quick to criticize those that take a stand.

    December 20, 2007 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  18. Ajay Jain

    Hillary co-sponsored an amendment offered by Sens. Russ Feingold and Harry Reid that would require the President to safely redeploy U.S. troops from Iraq within nine months after which funding for military operations in Iraq would be terminated.

    Now that is a NEW direction as desired bu the American voters in 2006 but 71 Senators oppose it out of which 45 are Republicans.

    We need more democratic Senators to get a 60 vote majority that will withstand the fillabuster threat of the Republicans. Hence 2008 is our chance to reverse course for a new direction.

    Go Hillary44 08!

    December 21, 2007 03:53 am at 3:53 am |
  19. Holly Madison

    Hello...Man i love reading your blog, interesting posts ! it was a great Tuesday

    January 1, 2008 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
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