Home

Iraq - Afghanistan War Supplemental for FY 2008 to Be Voted on Soon -- Questions & Answers -- April 30, 2008

  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • : Function ereg() is deprecated in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/file.inc on line 644.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 1 to theme_field() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/theme.inc on line 166.
  • warning: Parameter 2 to usernode_link() expected to be a reference, value given in /home/vcnvorg/public_html/oldsite/includes/module.inc on line 203.

April 29, 2008

Download in Word - Complete with Charts
Download in PDF - Complete with Charts

According to an April 29 article on CQ Politics, the House will likely vote on a new Iraq – Afghanistan war supplemental during the week of May 5, with Senator Harry Reid stating that he wants the Senate to vote on the bill prior to Memorial Day.

Details of the supplemental are being closely guarded by the Democratic party leadership. However, the supplemental is based upon President Bush’s request for an additional $108 billion in supplemental funding for the Iraq – Afghanistan war for the current fiscal year (FY 2008, which ends on September 30, 2008). Of this amount, $102 billion will be for the military.

Congress may also appropriate—in the same bill—an additional $70 billion as a “down payment” on funding the war in FY 2009 (which runs from October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009). This additional $70 billion would fund the war through at least March 2009 and (depending upon how it is spent and how other Department of Defense funds are utilized) most likely through June 2009.

That would bring the total Iraq – Afghanistan war supplemental for military spending to $178 billion (with more no doubt to be appropriated after the next President assumes office in January 2009). And don’t forget that in a series of votes in October, November and December 2007, Congress already appropriated $86.8 billion for the Iraq – Afghanistan war for this fiscal year.

Negotiations to develop the current supplemental spending bill have been taking place behind closed doors between Democratic leadership in the House and the Senate. These negotiations are laying the ground work for a quick vote on the bill once it reaches the floor of the House and the floor of the Senate. These negotiations are also laying the groundwork for the possibility that identical bills may be voted upon in both the House and the Senate, which would eliminate the necessity to create a conference committee (consisting of members of the House and Senate) to craft a final compromise bill.

According to an April 29 report by CQ Politics:

“A senior House aide said that the current plan is to hold three separate votes in the House: one for the war funding, one for domestic items, and one for a series of Iraq-related war policy provisions. These votes, which likely would all be called ‘amendments,’ would then be joined together and sent to the Senate as a package.”

It is quite possible—indeed probable—that the House version will not be publicly available until the morning of the vote. It is also quite possible that the date the vote takes place on Iraq – Afghanistan war spending won’t be known until the night before the vote is scheduled to occur. This means that it will be next to impossible to mobilize significant opposition to the Iraq – Afghanistan war spending bill.

Therefore, it is indeed critical that phone calls begin now to Representatives and Senators to express opposition to any additional funding for the Iraq war—and especially so if the funding does not have concrete, date-certain timetables for complete withdrawal from Iraq with the provision that the funds can only be used for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

CALL CONGRESS TODAY

It is critical that phone calls and lobbying—both legal and extralegal civil disobedience—be on-going at the offices of Representatives and Senators with the message being simple: Vote against any additional funds for the Iraq war.

You can contact your Representative and Senators via the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121.

You can find out your Representative’s and Senators’ direct contact information by visiting the website of Contacting Congress: http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/

Following is a “Question and Answer” piece on the status of the Iraq – Afghanistan war supplemental as well as two charts that summarize the components of the war spending request.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS ABOUT THE IRAQ – AFGHANISTAN WAR SUPPLEMENTAL FOR FY 2008

How much did President Bush request for the Iraq – Afghanistan war supplemental?

President Bush requested a total of $189.3 billion in funding for the Iraq – Afghanistan wars in Fiscal Year 2008. This Fiscal Year runs from October 1, 2007 through September 30, 2008.

This includes: $17.8 billion for Personnel Costs; $92.5 billion for Operations & Maintenance costs; and $71.6 billion for Procurement costs.

How much has Congress already appropriated for the wars in Fiscal Year 2008?

$86.8 billion is already appropriated by Congress for FY 2008. Funds were appropriated on three occasions. In September, Congress appropriated $5.2 billion in the Continuing Resolution (HR 52). In November, Congress appropriated $11.6 billion and included this amount in the baseline budget for the Department of Defense. In December, Congress appropriated an additional $70 billion as a supplemental included in the Omnibus Appropriations bill for Fiscal Year 2008.

How much remains to be appropriated for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles in FY 2008?

Congress fully funded the procurement of MRAP vehicles in the Continuing Resolution of September and in the Department of Defense baseline budget of November. It appropriated a total of $16.8 billion for procurement, maintenance and transport of MRAPs. This is the total amount requested by the Bush Administration for FY 2008 for MRAP vehicles.

How much remains to be appropriated of the amount requested by President Bush?

Of the funds requested by President Bush for the military, $102.4 billion remains to be considered by Congress.

This includes: $16.7 billion for Personnel costs; $34.9 billion for Operations & Maintenance costs; and $44.4 billion for Procurement costs.

Will the final Iraq – Afghanistan war supplemental be available to the public before the vote in Congress?

Yes, but substantively no. The probability is high that the pattern of prior supplemental spending bills will be followed. Backroom deals will be negotiated by the powers-that-be and a final bill will be posted on the House of Representatives website on the morning of the vote. In May 2007, the final version of the House supplemental spending bill was not posted and available to the public until 6 a.m. on the morning of the vote.

Do funds appropriated by Congress for FY 2008 have to be spent by the military before September 30, 2008?

A Fiscal Year for the federal government begins on October 1 and ends the following September 30.

Funds appropriated for Personnel Costs and for Operations and Maintenance costs must be spent during the fiscal year for which they are appropriated—or, in this case, by September 30, 2008.

However, Procurement funds can be carried over from one year into the next. The military operates on a 3 year procurement cycle. In order to allow for bids to be placed; contracts to be signed; production to be completed and equipment to be delivered, Congress allows money appropriated for procurement to be spent up to three years into the future. Therefore, if Congress ends up approving the full $71.6 billion for procurement originally requested by President Bush, the Department of Defense will have until September 30, 2010 to actually spend the money for procurement. Much of the equipment to be purchased with these funds won’t be delivered to the military until 2009 or 2010.

The purchase of body armor and other protective gear for soldiers is contained within the Operation and Maintenance portion of the budget, a portion of the budget that must be spent by September 30, 2008.

Is President Bush seeking any Iraq – Afghanistan war funds for Fiscal Year 2009?

Yes. President Bush included a $70 billion “placeholder” in his budget for FY 2009 (which runs from October 1, 2008 through September 30, 2009). This is the same tactic that was used in prior fiscal years when Congress approved “bridge” funds or “reserve” funds for the Iraq – Afghanistan wars which were then contained as separate “supplemental” sections within the baseline Defense appropriations bill.

In testimony before Congress in early February, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates estimated that the total spending request for FY 2009 for the Iraq – Afghanistan wars will be about $170 billion. He stated that this is only a guess and is based solely upon a straight line projection of current year costs into next year.