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kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-22-03 11:28 PM
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For Bush*s Iraq Request, Tough Comparisons Loom
With lights recently blacked out in the mid-Atlantic and wetlands conservation being squeezed, President Bush wants to spend nearly $5.7 billion on Iraq's electricity system and as much as $100 million next year to restore that nation's drained marshlands.

Such comparisons are dogging the administration as it formally launches its defense of an $87 billion emergency war spending request, which Sen. Robert C. Byrd (D-W.Va.) yesterday labeled "fiscal shock and awe." And they are creating a growing sense of unease among Republicans, who say the president's war spending will no doubt be used against them in next year's elections.

"I have no doubt that some people will be angry," said Rep. James C. Greenwood (R-Pa.), "and I have no doubt some people will try to take full political advantage."

L. Paul Bremer, administrator of the Iraqi coalition provisional authority, appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee yesterday in the first of seven hearings scheduled on the president's request, comparing the emergency spending bill to the Marshall Plan that followed World War II. The $20.3 billion for Iraqi reconstruction, he said, "bespeak grandeur of vision equal to the one which created the free world."

(snip)

But lawmakers from both parties seem anxious. Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) told Bremer he is getting "pointed questions" from his constituents, who are demanding to know why a country with the world's second-largest oil reserves is not paying for its own reconstruction.

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http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A49354-20...
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