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:

  • Sponsored by Brocade

    Best of 2016 Federal Forum eBook

    Earlier this summer, Federal and tech industry leaders convened to talk security, machine learning, network modernization, DevOps, and much more at the 2016 Federal Forum. This eBook includes a useful summary highlighting the best content shared at the 2016 Federal Forum to help agencies modernize their network infrastructure.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    GBC Flash Poll Series: Merger & Acquisitions

    Download this GBC Flash Poll to learn more about federal perspectives on the impact of industry consolidation.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    A DevOps Roadmap for the Federal Government

    This GBC Report discusses how DevOps is steadily gaining traction among some of government's leading IT developers and agencies.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download
  • Sponsored by CDW-G

    Joint Enterprise Licensing Agreements

    Read this eBook to learn how defense agencies can achieve savings and efficiencies with an Enterprise Software Agreement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Cloudera

    Government Forum Content Library

    Get all the essential resources needed for effective technology strategies in the federal landscape.

    Download

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