U.S. Sec. of Defense Leon Panetta, presents Purple Hearts to military personnel of the 172nd Infantry Brigade Task Force Blackhawks at a forward operating base in Sharana, Afghanistan,Wednesday, Dec., 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool)
WASHINGTON (AP) - The House is backing continuation of the war in Afghanistan.
On a vote of 303-113 Thursday on a major defense bill, the House
rejected an amendment that would have ended combat operations after more than a decade of war by limiting money to only the "safe and orderly withdrawal" of U.S. troops and military contractors.
Democrats and Republicans alike acknowledged that Americans are
war-weary. But they backed the overall bill's provision that calls for President Barack Obama to keep 68,000 troops in Afghanistan until the end of 2014 unless fewer troops can achieve U.S. objectives.
Obama plans to draw down the force and have all 88,000 troops out by the end of 2014.
The vote came on a $642 billion defense budget for next year.