Senate Democrats

FACT CHECK: Bush/McCain Republicans Requested Funding for Programs Unrelated to Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

It’s time again for more Bush/McCain Republican games and their Orwellian tactics. Bush/McCain Republicans are using calls for a “clean” supplemental spending bill to oppose the 21st Century GI Bill, extension of unemployment benefits and other emergency spending priorities included in the supplemental spending bill. But President Bush and his allies in Congress asked for billions in emergency spending for programs unrelated to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Democrats believe that along with the billions Bush/McCain Republicans want to spend on the war in Iraq, they should also invest in crucial priorities here at home and crises abroad. Below are a few examples of the President’s requests and Republican amendments to the Supplemental spending bill that are unrelated to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:

President Bush requested funding for programs unrelated to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:

The President Requested $5.8 Billion in Emergency Funding for New Orleans Storm Protection. “Reduces vulnerability of New Orleans to storm damage. $5.8 billion in additional emergency funding in 2009 to provide 100-year storm protection to the greater New Orleans area. The Corps has already provided a higher level of storm protection for New Orleans than the area has ever had. The additional funds, combined with the State’s cost-share, will help keep the project on schedule for completion.” [President’s FY 2009 Budget, “Corps of Engineers – Civil Works,” 2/4/08]

The President Requested $500 Million for Anti-Narcotics Efforts in Mexico and an Additional $50 Million for Central American Efforts. “This amendment would increase the pending request by $575 million. This request includes $500 million to provide an emergency assistance package for the Government of Mexico to support their unprecedented efforts to confront organized crime and narcotics trafficking… The amendment also includes $50 million for Central American states to support these same activities as part of a broader regional approach in detecting and deterring transitional crimes and narcotics trafficking and secure our borders.” [“FY 2008 Revised Emergency Proposal” p. 53, Office of Management and Budget, 10/22/07

The President Requested $20 Million for Military Assistance to Poland. “This proposal would fund the incremental costs of military assistance for Pakistan, Lebanon, and Poland…$20 million is for military assistance for Poland to enhance its military capabilities.” [“FY 2009 Emergency Proposals” p. 43, Office of Management and Budget 5/2/08]

The President Requested $80.2 Million for Construction at a Naval Base in Djibouti.  “This amendment would increase the pending request by $80.2 million to fund the construction projects located at Camp Lemonier, Djibouti and for planning and design. The projects include a water production facility, an expanded network infrastructure project, and a dining facility.” [“FY 2008 Revised Emergency Proposal” p. 42, Office of Management and Budget, 10/22/07]

The President Requested $106 Million in Assistance to North Korea for 2008 and Another $30 Million for 2009 in Support of the Six-Party Talks. “The amendment would increase the pending request by $1.1 billion. This includes…$106 million to provide Heavy Fuel Oil or an equivalent value of energy or economic assistance to North Korea on an “action-for-action” basis in support of the Six Party Talks in return for actions taken by North Korea on denuclearization.” “Provided further, That, notwithstanding any other provision of law, of the funds appropriated under this heading, up to $15,000,000 may be made available for assistance to the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea to support the goals of the Six Party Talks……$15 million for Heavy Fuel Oil to North Korea in return for actions taken by North Korea on denuclearization. Authority is required to provide the heavy fuel oil ‘action-for-action’ basis in support of the Six Party Talks. This assistance is in return for actions taken by North Korea on denuclearization and would allow other programs supporting the Six Party Talks.” [“FY 2008 Revised Emergency Proposal” p. 54, Office of Management and Budget, 10/22/07; “FY 2009 Emergency Proposals” p. 41-42, Office of Management and Budget 5/2/08]

The President Requested $50 Million in Assistance to Lebanon. “Of the $170 million requested…$50 million is for military assistance for Lebanon to increase its ability to secure its borders and provide additional security training and equipment to the Lebanese Armed Forces.” [“FY 2009 Emergency Proposals” p. 43, Office of Management and Budget 5/2/08]

The President Requested $350 Million for Budget Assistance to the Palestinian Authority for FY 2008 and $150 Million for FY 2009. “The amendment would increase the pending request by $1.1 billion. This includes…$350 million to provide urgent budget support and economic assistance to the Palestinian Authority. These funds are required to help the Palestinian Authority build its infrastructure and meet its financial obligations to avoid a pending fiscal crisis that could undermine its authority.” The President’s 2009 request included $150 million for budget support for the Palestinian Authority. [“FY 2008 Revised Emergency Proposal” p. 54, Office of Management and Budget, 10/22/07; “FY 2009 Emergency Proposals” p. 42, Office of Management and Budget 5/2/08]

The President Requested $60 Million for Peacekeeping in Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. “This proposal would provide $60 million to fund U.S. assistance to international efforts to monitor and maintain peace in Somalia and Democratic Republic of Congo. Of the $60 million, $20 million will be used to train and equip a counterterrorism brigade that will help stabilize the security situation in eastern Congo. The remaining $40 million will permit deployment of additional troops in support of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). AMISOM troops will support efforts toward national elections and the restoration of effective governance and lasting stability.  [“FY 2009 Emergency Proposals” p. 44, Office of Management and Budget 5/2/08

The President Requested $45 Million to Support Political Reconciliation in Kenya and $15 Million for Stabilization Efforts in Uganda. “This proposal would fund the incremental costs for U.S. Agency for International Development agriculture programs aimed at food security and improved production in food-insecure countries ($150 million); $45 million to support political reconciliation in Kenya; and $15 million for stabilization efforts in Uganda.” [“FY 2009 Emergency Proposals” p. 45, Office of Management and Budget 5/2/08]

Bush/McCain Republicans added funding for programs unrelated to wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:  

Senator Shelby Added $50 Million for Programs Under the Adam Walsh Act. Senator Shelby offered an amendment to provide $50 million for programs under the Adam Walsh Act, to track unregistered sex offenders. The amendment was adopted by voice vote in committee. [Shelby Amendment to HR 2642, 5/15/08; CQ Committee Coverage]

Senator Domenici Added Incentives to Russia to Increase Down-Blending of its Highly Enriched Uranium. Senator Domenici offered an amendment to provide incentives for Russia to increase down-blending of its highly enriched uranium. It was adopted by voice vote in committee. [Domenici Amendment to HR 2642, 5/15/08; CQ Committee Coverage]

Senator Hutchison Added $100 Million for Law Enforcement Programs at the U.S. Border and to Combat Drug Crimes. Senator Hutchison offered an amendment to add $100 million for grants for law enforcement to work at the U.S. border and combat drug trafficking. It was adopted by voice vote in committee. [Hutchison Amendment to HR 2642, 5/15/08; CQ Committee Coverage]

Senator Gregg Offered Added $225 Million for Food Security and Burma Cyclone Relief. Senator Gregg offered an amendment that would provide $225 million for food security and Burma cyclone relief. The amendment was adopted without objection as part of a manager’s package in committee. [Gregg Amendment to HR 2642, 5/15/08; CQ Committee Coverage]

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