House Appropriations Committee Chairman Dave Obey (D—Wis.), who had managed the $59 billion war funding bill, voted no in a final protest and helped to take another 101 Democrats with him. A solid majority of the caucus—148 Democrats—still held firm with the president on the 308-114 vote, but the scene was in stark contrast with just a year ago when but all but 32 Democrats supported a still larger $105.9 billion war funding measure for Afghanistan and Iraq operations.

“It is wrong to be borrowing money from China, laying off American police officers to train police officers in Afghanistan,” complained Rep. Jay Inslee (D—Wash.) Citing the release this week of previously secret battlefield reports from the war zone, Rep. Jim McGovern (D—Mass.) said “The same old, same old is simply not working and it’s costing us dearly.”

“This is not just the president’s war. It’s our war too,” McGovern told the House. “We must not simply kick the can down the road and hope for the best.”