Senate war supplemental trims Bush plan, adds foreign aid
Bill includes nearly for $280 million for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement bureau.
Senate Appropriations Chairman Thad Cochran, R-Miss., unveiled a draft $80.4 billion fiscal 2005 emergency supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan Wednesday that slices $1.6 billion off President Bush's initial request, while including foreign aid money the House eliminated and funding for the Capitol Police and federal judiciary.
It would cut deeply into Bush priorities, such as a $250 million request for the new office of the director of national intelligence, while adding unrelated items such as funds for flood relief in Hawaii and Utah, and $276 million for Immigration and Customs Enforcement to buy equipment and hire and train more investigators and detention officers.
It contains no immigration policy-related riders, although a lively debate is expected on the floor next week in response to the House's addition of border security legislation.
The Senate draft would provide about $74.4 billion in defense-related funds, about $500 million less than the administration request and $2.4 billion short of the House version.
The reductions come largely from operations, maintenance and procurements funds, although it includes an additional $25 million for electronic jamming equipment to combat roadside bombs the administration did not request, and has extra money for personnel costs. The chairman's mark matches the administration and House versions in providing $5.7 billion to train and equip Iraqi security forces and $1.3 billion for Afghan security forces. But it slices $161 million from the administration and House versions for the national intelligence director's office.
For State Department and foreign assistance items, Cochran included $4.3 billion for international security and reconstruction costs and support for coalition partners, adding back $592 million for a new embassy in Baghdad, $570 million for Afghan reconstruction and $100 million for contributions to U.N. peacekeeping operations the House eliminated. The $680 million peacekeeping total is still $100 million shy of the White House request, excluding money for a Sudan war crimes tribunal. The total price tag could grow as committee members on both sides are preparing amendments to add as much as $570 million for Sudan, mostly for food aid. The draft already contains about $210 million for Sudan, including the White House's $150 million food aid request.
The bill provides the full administration request of $60 million for Ukraine, coinciding with today's high-profile visit by President Viktor Yushchenko presidential , but cuts $150 million from the president's $400 million request for unspecified support to coalition partners. The House zeroed out the entire $400 million. Funding is included for the Palestinian Authority, Pakistan and Jordan as requested.
For Indian Ocean tsunami relief, the measure would provide $907.3 million, just below what the House provided. The Senate also provides money for domestic disaster relief, such as $66 million for damage related to January flooding in Utah and $13 million for flood-related damages at the University of Hawaii. There could also be efforts by senators from states impacted by last year's hurricanes to add additional disaster aid funds.
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