Senate Overwhelmingly Approves Bill To Fund Iraq War Until Mid-2009
Published on Countercurrents.org, by Jason Leopold, 29 June, 2008.
The Senate overwhelmingly passed a $162 billion emergency spending bill late Thursday to continue funding the occupation of Iraq and the war in Afghanistan well into 2009, without a timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops.
The bill, approved 92-6, was engineered over the past two months by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and brings the total cost for the conflicts to about $650 billion—more than $400 billion for Iraq alone.
The legislation also includes tens of billions of dollars in domestic spending, including an $8 billion extension of unemployment insurance, $63 billion in funding for a new GI Bill for Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans, $5.8 billion to rebuild levees in Louisiana, $4.6 billion to refurbish veterans hospitals, and billions to fund other projects. The combined total to fund the wars and the domestic initiatives is $258 billion.
President George W. Bush, who initially said he would veto a supplemental bill that surpassed the $108 billion he said was needed for Iraq and Afghanistan, is expected to sign the legislation into law next week …
… Although DOD included more extensive justification of its FY2007 and FY2008 supplemental requests, it still provides little explanation of how changes in force levels would affect funding levels,” the CRS report says.
Moreover, the CRS report says that the Bush administration has consistently failed to provide Congress with “long-term estimates of costs despite a statutory reporting requirement that the President submit a cost estimate for FY2006-FY2011 that was enacted in 2004.”
Additionally, the report says some of the funds the Pentagon asked for may not fall into the urgent needs category covered by the emergency supplemental … (full long text).