USA Today mischaracterized $87 billion funding billSeptember 21, 2004 2:07 PM EDT ››› DUNCAN BLACK
An article in the September 21 edition of USA Today claimed that Senator John Kerry "voted against an $87 billion aid package for U.S. soldiers."
The $87 billion referred to in the USA Today article was the "Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense and for the Reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan, 2004," signed into law on November 6, 2003. It was not merely an "aid package for soldiers"; as the act's title suggests, it appropriated money to fund both the military and security operations in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as money for reconstruction in those countries. According to a November 6, 2003, report by the Associated Press, the act appropriated "$18.6 billion to restore its [Iraq's] oil industry, train police officers and otherwise rebuild the country's economy and government."
As Media Matters for America has noted, while Kerry did vote against one version of the $87 billion appropriations bill, President George W. Bush threatened to veto another version six days after that.