Today, John McCain gave a speech where he tried to paint Barack Obama as opposed to funding for the troops. In response the Obama campaign released a list of McCain’s votes against funding for the troops. Let’s take a look at some of those votes.
In his speech at the American GI Forum, McCain said about Obama, “And as our troops took the fight to the enemy, Senator Obama tried to cut off funding for them. He was one of only 14 senators to vote against the emergency funding in May 2007 that supported our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. He would choose to lose in Iraq in hopes of winning in Afghanistan. But had his position been adopted, we would have lost both wars.”
From the Obama campaign here is a list of some of the things McCain voted against, “Obama Voted for and McCain Voted Against $360 Million for Armored Vehicles for Troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2005, Obama voted for and McCain voted against providing $360.8 million for armored tactical wheeled vehicles for units deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan and $5 million to establish ballistics engineering research centers at two major research institutions. The measure against which McCain voted also required such centers to advance knowledge and application of ballistics materials and procedures to improve the safety of land-based military vehicles. [HR 2863, Vote 248, 10/5/05, Passed 56-43: R 13-42 D 42-1 I 1-0]”
McCain voted twice against repealing the capital gains tax cut and applying the savings to replace equipment used by the Army and Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan, “A week later, prior to the issuance of a conference report regarding that measure, Obama voted for and McCain voted against a measure to “insist that conference report include funding to strengthen America’s military, as contained in Senate-passed amendment, instead of any extension of tax cuts for capital gains and dividends (which do not expire until 2009), as contained in House-passed bill.” [HR 4297, Vote 8, 2/2/06, Passed 44-53: R 1-52 D 42-1 I 1-0; HR 4297, Vote 18, 2/14/06, Failed 45-55: R 1-54 D 43-1 I 1-0]”
McCain voted against providing an additional $322 million for troop equipment and body armor. [S 1689, Vote 376, 10/2/03, Passed 49-37: R 46-0 D 2-37 I 1-0; National Journal’s CongressDaily, 10/3/03]. He also voted against $1 billion in new equipment for the National Guard. . [S 762, Vote 116, 4/2/03, Passed 52-47: R 51-0 D 1-46 I 0-1]
McCain also has numerous votes against increased funding for veterans’ health care. [HR 4297, Vote 7, Failed 44-53: R 1-52; D 42-1 (ND 38-1, SD 4-0); I 1-0; 2/2/06 HR 4939, Vote 98, 4/26/06, Passed 84-13, D 41-0; R 42-13; I 1-0; The Independent Budget, A Budget for Veterans by Veterans, 2/10/06; Newsweek, 1/19/06] McCain did vote for tripling veterans’ health care fees, while he opposed increased funding for veterans’ health care.
So, John McCain, this supposed friend of the troops and American patriot has voted against equipment, medical care, and the new GI Bill for the troops. It seems that in McCain’s eyes the troops are only good for fighting. He doesn’t care if they have the right equipment while they are in battle or the proper care when they come home. If this is the definition of a patriot, then I would rather do the right thing by the people in the military and be called a traitor. John McCain was a hero as a soldier, but he has betrayed a generation of those who serve, by putting his own ambitions ahead of his moral duty to those who serve.