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unhappycamper Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Dec-18-07 04:23 AM
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Congress moves to end war-funding crisis
Congress moves to end war-funding crisis
By Rick Maze - Staff writer
Posted : Monday Dec 17, 2007 14:12:01 EST

A compromise federal spending plan approved Sunday night by congressional leaders includes $31 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, and uses a bit of budget trickery to provide a $3.7 billion increase in veterans spending.

The $31 billion for war-related funding is far less than the $196 billion the Pentagon says is needed to cover fiscal 2008 expenses, but it is considered enough to avoid the threatened layoffs of up to 200,000 civilian workers early next year. $31 billion buys about two months of extra time, meaning another war-funding crisis is likely to emerge in March.

The 2008 omnibus appropriations bill that includes funding for most of the federal government provides $43.1 billion in discretionary funds, covering health care and administrative costs, an amount that is $6.6 billion over the 2007 budget and $3.7 billion more than the administrations request.

The House of Representatives could vote as early as tonight, and the Senate plans to vote by weeks end.

However, responding to complaints and veto threats from President Bush and his advisrrs, who say that the Democrat-controlled Congress is spending too much on domestic programs, the agreement provides $3.7 billion of the veterans funding with strings attached. The extra money is available as emergency spending, which can be used if the president chooses to issue a declaration of an emergency. It also could sit unused.

Rest of article at: /

uhc comment: What do you think the chance is that any money will 'sit unused'?
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