GOP appropriator offers plan for funding Afghanistan troop increase

House Appropriations Committee ranking member Jerry Lewis, R-Calif., Monday called for holding down increases in five nondefense fiscal 2010 spending bills to 2 percent over fiscal 2009 levels to pay for most of President Obama's Afghanistan plan, which will be unveiled Tuesday night.

Referring to the Commerce-Justice-Science, Financial Services, Labor-HHS, State-Foreign Operations and Transportation-HUD bills, Lewis said in a release that "Limiting just these five bills to a 2 percent increase would free up about $35 billion -- enough to pay for the lion's share of a troop increase."

So far, only five of the 12 annual appropriations bills have been signed by Obama, while Military Construction-VA, Defense, Transportation-HUD, and C-J-S are waiting for House and Senate negotiators to agree on final versions.

Lewis suggested using unspent money from the $787 billion economic stimulus package passed in February to fund Afghanistan spending over $35 billion.

His proposal comes after House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., introduced legislation -- which has 10 co-sponsors -- that would require the president to set a war surtax that fully pays for the previous year's war cost. The surtax -- which would not be levied on soldiers who have served in combat since Sept. 11, 2001, along with their families or the families of the fallen -- would begin in 2011.

"If we don't address the cost of this war, we will continue shoving billions of dollars in taxes off on future generations," Obey and the bill's co-sponsors said in a Nov. 19 release, adding that the war costs will drain resources from other priorities, such as healthcare reform and expanding education opportunities.

Lewis doesn't support the surtax because he believes it would cost jobs.

"Instead of yet another job-killing tax, this Congress should do the right thing and make common-sense budget decisions that reflect our ultimate national priority -- providing for our national security and giving our men and women in uniform with the resources they need to get the job done," Lewis said.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.