The Senate Appropriations Committee “on Thursday approved another $33.5 billion for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq this year, although some members said they did so reluctantly,” Reuters reports.
The action by the Senate Appropriations Committee is the first step toward congressional approval of the extra war spending that President Barack Obama requested in February to support his surge of 30,000 more U.S. troops into Afghanistan.
But the money still must be approved by the full Senate and also by the House of Representatives, where the majority Democrats are split over the wisdom of continuing the wars.
The war funding “included money to help train and equip Afghan and Iraqi security forces — $2.6 billion and $1 billion, respectively.”
Some other funding included in the supplemental:
- $13 billion for benefits for Vietnam War veterans who were exposed to Agent Orange.
- $2.8 billion requested by the Obama administration for relief and reconstruction for Haiti after its devastating earthquake on January 12.
- $5.1 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "Everyone should be advised that the … agency is out of funding for disaster relief," Inouye said.
- $400 million for relief from recent floods from Tennessee to Rhode island.
- $68 million to help address the impact of the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Chairman Daniel Inouye (D-HI) “said he hoped the Senate would act on the legislation by the end of May.”
A detailed summary of specific spending provisions is linked here.
(credit image – getty)