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As House Democrats' Support for Afghan War Ebbs, Will the White House Opt for the Republican Plan?

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amborin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 05:49 PM
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As House Democrats' Support for Afghan War Ebbs, Will the White House Opt for the Republican Plan?
War-Funding Puzzle Stumps Dems

by David Rogers

WASHINGTON - House Democratic support for the war in Afghanistan has eroded to a point where President Barack Obama is now so reliant on Republican votes that hes backtracking from his own partys efforts to add new education funding to avert teacher layoffs.
The Democrats are trying to figure out how to get some $38 billion in war-related funding through the House and onto the president's desk.
The conflict showed itself Tuesday night as
Democrats began spelling out the details of what domestic funds are proposed to be added to a Senate-passed version of the same war-funding bill. The 110 page amendment was posted on the House Rules Committee website even as the House Democratic whip organization circulated a summary that included border security and nuclear energy credits along with nearly $15 billion for education.
No indication was given of an administration position pro or con: TBA was the operative acronym. But unless it steps forward more, the White House risks further straining relations with Democrats, already frustrated by the presidents lukewarm support of new jobs and economic relief legislation going into Novembers elections.

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The documents released last night anticipate a $10 billion Education Jobs Fund intended to help local school boards , hurt by the economic downturn, to retain an estimated 140,000 employees. Another $4.95 billion is provided to fill a widely acknowledged shortfall in Pell Grant funding for low-income college students. Border security accounts are promised $701 million in new spending, and $180 million would serve to support billions in loan guarantees for the nuclear industry and new renewable technologies.

To offset the costs, about $12 billion would be rescinded from prior appropriations including unspent funds from last years Recovery Act. Defense, highway construction, and pandemic flu programs are among those hit, and new legislation would bar pharmaceutical companies from paying competitors to delay bringing generic drugs to market.
But with the July 4 recess beginning this weekend, the administration would prefer that the House take the path of least GOP resistance namely, accepting a clean version of the $58.9 billion Senate-passed war-funding bill.

Thats a shocker. The White House would want us to take the Senate bill. Thats their general position, Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) told POLITICO with some sarcasm and laughter. Salvaging the education money is still a priority, but Hoyer and Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-S.C.) each said separately that taking the Senate bill was now a possible outcome.
Its one of the options, Clyburn said.
Since late last week, Democrats have been polling their members to gauge support for the estimated $37 billion in war-related funding requested by the president and whats now a roughly equal package of spending including disaster aid, Haiti earthquake relief, veterans benefits and the teacher assistance.

snip


http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2010/06/30-1


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Vincardog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 06:38 PM
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1. How about we take the whole $38 billion, use it for teacher's salaries and stimulus. Take it off
the Pentagon's bloated 600B.
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