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Senate Adds Billions of Domestic Programs to War Bill

Eying its last chance to pass a spending bill this term, the US Senate has loaded up the Iraq and Afghanistan war funding bill with projects related and unrelated to the wars. Senate Leader Harry Reid's strategy includes separating the two types of funding, while recognizing that it will be difficult to overcome President Bush's looming veto.

The tangent projects, added by Senators of both parties, include:

  • $50 billion expansion of veterans benefits under the GI Bill
  • $100 million for local law enforcement to fight drug trafficking along the Mexico border
  • $50 million to track down child predators
  • $400 million for rural schools
  • $1 billion for heating subsidies for the poor
  • $350 million to fight western wildfires

The Senate's bill comes out to about $10 billion more than the $183.8 billion requested by Bush. Last year, President Bush was too busy objecting to a withdrawal timetable to worry about add-ons. Now that a timetable is off the table, the President is less worried about his flexibility and more focused on satisfactory details.

Is this a good way to legislate? If this is Congress' last opportunity to address crucial funding needs, like veteran benefits, should the legislative body just let the opportunity to pass because the president doesn't agree?


Join The Conversation
janneth janneth 9 years
Makes about as much sense as super delegates.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Here's a thought, let's make any extra projects be directly associated to the bill.
stephley stephley 9 years
Lemme write you a check on my grandchildren's future.
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
How about a little scratch to the raciccarone fund? I mean, we're already 57 trillion in the hole.
stephley stephley 9 years
This makes as much sense as my own lousy budgeting and financial practices. I suppose it makes sense in the political world though I doubt over the long run it's ever been a good way to do things. If you believe something is important enough to fund, anything that gets it done is good.
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