Majority of Americans Oppose Full Funding of Occupation
A majority of Americans do not want to give President George W. Bush the 190-billion-dollar he has requested for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll out Tuesday.
While 27 percent said they would give a green light to the funding, a hefty 43 percent of those surveyed said they wanted the budget for those conflicts reduced sharply; and another 23 percent said they wanted the funding lowered somewhat. Three percent said no funding should be approved and three percent had no opinion, the poll found.
The survey also shed light on US voters' discontent with Bush and Congress.
"Bush's approval rating stands at 33 percent, equal to his career low in Post-ABC polls.
"And just 29 percent approve of the job Congress is doing, its lowest approval rating in this poll since November 1995, when Republicans controlled both the House and Senate. It also represents a 14-point drop since Democrats took control in January," the Post added.
The US Senate Monday passed a mammoth $648 billion defense policy bill, shorn of attempts by disappointed anti-war Democrats to dictate Bush's Iraq strategy.
The bill included around 128 billion dollars for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a Congressional Budget Office estimate.
The legislation passed by 92 votes to three after Democrats lost several attempts to dictate US troop levels in Iraq.
While the Department of Defense Authorization bill for fiscal year 2008 sets the size of programs, funds can only be disbursed after the passage of a Senate defense spending bill due to be taken up by the chamber this week.
The most significant Iraq related portion of the bill was an amendment backed by Democratic Senator Joseph Biden which passed last week, calling for a federalization of Iraq, with large amounts of power ceded to the provinces.
But the amendment was non-binding and will not force Bush to change strategy in the unpopular war.
Democrats failed by only four votes to include an amendment which would require troops who served in Iraq or Afghanistan to be granted as much time at home as they spent on combat deployments.
The bill would have effectively limited the number of troops available for deployment, and cut the size of the 160,000 strong US force in Iraq more quickly than the gradual reductions which Bush has promised.