Speaker dislikes surtax to pay for war

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., Thursday threw cold water on the idea of a war surtax to help pay for President Obama's troop buildup in Afghanistan, adding that the deficit will be a concern when the House begins to review the costs. "I am not in support of the proposal," said Pelosi, referring to the surtax idea floated by House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis.

Pelosi also said at her weekly news conference that House members will be seeking more details on Obama's Afghanistan plan "so we can make some judgment about the nature of the threat." Among the questions Pelosi said she wants answered is why generals now recommending a troop buildup to Obama apparently did not make the same recommendation to former President George W. Bush.

Pelosi said the president "has been dealt a terrible hand, and now he has to deal with that."

Meanwhile, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., said at a hearing this morning that a crucial piece of the Afghan war strategy is how the United States will deal with neighboring Pakistan, which has become a haven for terrorists. "What happens in Pakistan ... will do more to determine the outcome in Afghanistan than any increase in troops or shift in strategy," Kerry said, according to the Associated Press. Opening a hearing on Afghan strategy, Kerry said that it is the "presence of al-Qaida in Pakistan, its direct ties to and support from the Taliban in Afghanistan and the perils of an unstable, nuclear-armed Pakistan that drive our mission."

Foreign Relations Committee ranking member Richard Lugar, R-Ind., agreed, saying the president and the administration "must justify their plan not only on the basis of how it will affect Afghanistan, but on how it will impact our efforts to promote a much stronger alliance with Pakistan."

Lugar said "it is not clear how an expanded military effort in Afghanistan addresses the problem of Taliban and al-Qaida safe havens across the border in Pakistan."

The House Armed Services Committee also was hearing testimony this afternoon from Defense Secretary Robert Gates about Obama's plan to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan - the largest expansion of the war since it began eight years ago.

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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

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

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

    Download
  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

    Download
  • 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.

    Download
  • 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.

    Download

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