House lawmakers on Thursday easily passed the rule to begin debate on the war supplemental.
But fiscally conservative Democrats lodged their opposition to a bill that doesnt pay for $62 billion in expanded GI benefits. The rule advanced 342-83, with Blue Dogs making up a chunk of the detractors.
Among those who opposed the rule were Blue Dog co-chairmen Mike Ross (Ark.), Allen Boyd (Fla.), Dennis Moore (Kan.) and Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.). Other Blue Dogs who voted against the rule were Reps. Melissa Bean (Ill.), Dan Boren (Okla.), Brad Ellsworth (Ind.), Gabrielle Giffords (Ariz.) and Health Shuler (N.C.).
House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) said he is among those who are frustrated that GI benefits are not offset in the bill.
But I would point out that the entire war is not being paid for, Obey said. Democratic appropriators previously sought to pay for the $161 billion cost of the war, but there was not that much enthusiasm for that on either side of the aisle.