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Bush Approves $81bn for Iraq, Afghanistan ^

Posted on 05/13/2005 6:21:27 AM PDT by Grendel9

WASHINGTON, 13 May 2005 — President George W. Bush signed Wednesday an $81 billion package to finance military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The emergency package includes $76 billion for military operations, with the rest going to civilian spending and international aid to Sudan, the Palestinians and victims of a tsunami that hit Asia late last year.

The monies are intended to fund US military operations through the end of the 2005 fiscal year, which ends September 30.

The legislation also includes $92 million to aid displaced persons in Sudan and 907 million dollars for Asian countries struck by December’s tsunami. Palestinians are to receive $200 million.

The measure passed despite a controversial anti-immigration provision that would impose strict requirements on how states issue driver’s licenses and state identification cards, in a move some see as the first step toward a national identification card.

Critics say that under the provision, millions of undocumented aliens will be prohibited from getting drivers licenses, and motor vehicles registration bureaus across the United States will, in effect, be turned into immigration enforcement offices.

“This legislation will help America continue to promote freedom and democracy,” Bush said.

“It also will assist in the continuing tsunami recovery efforts. I appreciate the leadership in the House and Senate for working together to reach a final agreement that focuses taxpayer dollars on providing our troops and diplomats with the tools they need.”

The House of Representatives last week approved the measure 368-58 and the Senate approved it unanimously on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, republicans in the US House of Representatives on Wednesday introduced legislation that would sharply curtail the role of women on the battlefield.

The measure — a last-minute add-on to the defense-funding bill — would remove women from the army combat support units in which they currently serve, and would ban them from such units in the future.

“The majority of Congress believes women should not be engaged in combat-related activities,” said Republican Representative John McHugh, chairman of a House of Representatives subcommittee tasked with overseeing military personnel matters.

Women in the US military are currently banned from combat, but often work in support roles on or near the battlefield — a practice which McHugh and other Republicans said must change.

“Women should be barred from those positions,” he said, adding that only 31 women would be affected by the policy change.

“The current ban on women in combat needs to be preserved,” McHugh said at a meeting of the House Armed Services subcommittee.

Opposition Democrats, however, strenuously objected to the measure, saying it would affect many more women than Republicans claim, and could have a negative effect on overall military morale.

“Today, women are essential to our ability to fight the war in Iraq and the global war on terrorism. If our nation is truly committed to winning these wars and meeting our other defense requirements, we cannot afford to reject the talents of women, who have served so well,” said Representative Ike Skelton, the top Democrat on the Armed Services Committee.

Democrats also said the move is ill timed, given recent problems in signing new recruits.

“This amendment sends a bad message to all who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Representative Loretta Sanchez. “As the army continues to face recruiting and retention issues, this is certainly not the time to be taking more soldiers out of our forward support companies.”

TOPICS: Foreign Affairs
KEYWORDS: afghanistan; appropriations; bush43; iraq
There's a helluva lot going on in this $81B package. So WHY do I have to read about it in the Arab News which got the story from Agence France Presse? WHERE is it in OUR newspapers? I looked high and low through the dailies this a.m. and find zilch about it!

Anyone know the URL for Roll Call? It's for sure OUR newspeople consider Bolton and Michael Jackson much more important than the immigration connection inside this Bill!

1 posted on 05/13/2005 6:21:28 AM PDT by Grendel9
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To: Grendel9

This is one of the bills that was holding up the fight on judicial nominations along with the highway bill that is being voted on today (hopefully) in the Senate. Once that passes, then judicial nominations along with Bolton take center stage.

2 posted on 05/13/2005 6:28:29 AM PDT by PhiKapMom (AOII Mom -- J.C. for Oklahoma Governor -- Run J.C. Run; Allen in 2008)
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To: Grendel9

In other news, Bush approves $0 for our southern border, while jihadis smuggle men and materiel, to make war against us, across it.

3 posted on 05/13/2005 7:01:33 AM PDT by thoughtomator ("One cannot say that a law is right simply because it is a law.")
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To: thoughtomator

Bush is so excited, he can't wait to give it all away. Spend! Spend! Spend!

4 posted on 05/13/2005 7:26:32 AM PDT by ARCADIA (Abuse of power comes as no surprise)
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To: thoughtomator

Yeah! It's expensive protecting the borders of OTHER countries, isn't it?

5 posted on 05/13/2005 7:58:16 AM PDT by ImpotentRage
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To: PhiKapMom

Thanks..Yeah...after another week.

6 posted on 05/14/2005 12:15:33 PM PDT by Grendel9
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To: thoughtomator
In other news, Bush approves $0 for our southern border, while jihadis smuggle men and materiel, to make war against us, across it.

Then stop complaining and tell Congress to pass such a bill. The President can't just pull money out of thin air no matter what the project is. You want a wall/fence? Congress would have to appropriate the money. You want more border patrol agents? Congress would have to fund any increases. Whatever money Congress approves the President is required by law to spend.

7 posted on 05/14/2005 12:27:33 PM PDT by COEXERJ145 (Just Blame President Bush For Everything, It Is Easier Than Using Your Brain)
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Congress already passed the necessary immigration laws. The executive has expliticly refused to enforce it. Thus my problem is exclusively with the executive.

8 posted on 05/14/2005 1:23:30 PM PDT by thoughtomator (Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball)
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