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:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

    View
  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

    View
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    View
  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    View
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    View
  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

    View
  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.

    View

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