News

    House Debates Iraq, Afghanistan Funding

    The House of Representatives is expected to vote Wednesday on legislation to provide $81.3 billion to support U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    It is the latest of five bills President Bush has asked Congress to approve to pay for ongoing U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    All have been separate from the regular annual government budget approval process, thus they are called supplementals. President Bush originally proposed 81-point-nine-billion dollars.

    This legislation contains money needed to supply U.S. troops with better body armor and upgraded vehicles, and proposes funds, although slightly less than requested, for a new U.S. embassy in Baghdad.

    Most of the $1.7-billion in foreign aid will support counter-narcotics, reconstruction, and training in Afghanistan.

    Among countries helping in the war on terrorism, Jordan would receive $100 million and Pakistan would get $150 million.

    Most House lawmakers are likely to support the legislation based on what it contains for the U.S. military. However, some say they will vote against it, saying President Bush has failed to put forward a clear plan for Iraq and accurate estimates of war costs.

    On Tuesday, opposition Democrats, such as David Obey of Wisconsin, took the opportunity to renew criticism of President Bush on war costs and other issues. "This country was mis-led into war on the basis of bad information and false information. I believe some of that was purposeful. I think our attack on Iraq is the dumbest American war since the war of 1812," he eaid.

    Responding to this, Republicans such as Congressman Tom Cole said the question now is not the fact of U.S. and coalition military action to oust Saddam Hussein, but giving American troops what they need. "Are we going to provide people the resources they need to get the job done that we asked them to do. I think it is very important that we do that on a bipartisan basis, I think that will be a very powerful message in Iraq and a very powerful message around the Middle East," he said.

    The House rejected an amendment that had bipartisan support, proposing to create a special congressional committee to investigate the awarding and carrying out of contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    In a victory for those seeking more money for victims of conflict in Sudan, the House approved amendments to increase money in the bill for food, disaster relief, and refugee aid, for Sudan's western Darfur region.

    On another matter, Congressman Frank Wolf, a Virginia Republican, argued against reducing $580 million in the bill for U.S. assistance to international peacekeeping missions, saying this would seriously affect peace efforts in Darfur and the rest of Sudan. "To take away the peacekeeping money after the Bush administration has done such a good job of bringing north-south peace, to take that away, to allow the raping and the pillaging and everything that is going on in Sudan would be morally unacceptable."

    Also rejected on Tuesday was an amendment proposing to eliminate $200 million to be provided indirectly to the Palestinians.

    Also included in the legislation: $656 million in relief for countries devastated by last December's tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

    As part of funding for U.S. troops, the bill also authorizes an increase in the amount of money paid to families of soldiers killed on active duty, from $12,000 to $100,000.

    House approval would send the bill on to the Senate which is not expected to take it up until April.

    Final passage by Congress would bring total U.S. expenditures in Iraq, Afghanistan and assistance to allies in the war on terrorism since the September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States to about $300 billion.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Testing Bamboo as Building Materiali
    X
    June 27, 2016 9:06 PM
    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video New York Pride March A Celebration of Life, Mourning of Loss

    At this year’s march in New York marking the end of pride week, a record-breaking crowd of LGBT activists and allies marched down Manhattan's Fifth Avenue, in what will be long remembered as a powerful display of solidarity and remembrance for the 49 victims killed two weeks ago in an Orlando gay nightclub.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.
    Video

    Video Tunisian Fishing Town Searches for Jobs, Local Development Solutions

    As the European Union tries to come to grips with its migrant crisis, some newcomers are leaving voluntarily. But those returning to their home countries face an uncertain future.  Five years after Tunisia's revolution, the tiny North African country is struggling with unrest, soaring unemployment and plummeting growth. From the southern Tunisian fishing town of Zarzis, Lisa Bryant takes a look for VOA at a search for local solutions.
    Video

    Video 'American Troops' in Russia Despite Tensions

    Historic battle re-enactment is a niche hobby with a fair number of adherents in Russia where past military victories are played-up by the Kremlin as a show of national strength. But, one group of World War II re-enactors in Moscow has the rare distinction of choosing to play western ally troops. VOA's Daniel Schearf explains.
    Video

    Video Muslim American Mayor Calls for Tolerance

    Syrian-born Mohamed Khairullah describes himself as "an American mayor who happens to be Muslim." As the three-term mayor of Prospect Park, New Jersey, he believes his town of 6,000 is an example of how ethnicity and religious beliefs should not determine a community's leadership. Ramon Taylor has this report from Prospect Park.
    Video

    Video Internal Rifts Over Syria Policy Could Be Headache for Next US President

    With the Obama administration showing little outward enthusiasm for adopting a more robust Syria policy, there is a strong likelihood that the internal discontent expressed by State Department employees will roll over to the next administration. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins reports.
    Video

    Video Senegal to Park Colorful ‘Cars Rapides’ Permanently

    Brightly painted cars rapide are a hallmark of Dakar, offering residents a cheap way to get around the capital city since 1976. But the privately owned minibuses are scheduled to be parked for good in late 2018, as Ricci Shryock reports for VOA.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora