Friday, December 24, 2004

Let me see if I can get this straight
This is how budget appropriations are managed by the party of fiscal rsponsibility.
BAGHDAD (AFP) - US President George W. Bush is expected to seek authorisation for spending of an additional 80 billion dollars in Iraq, the head of a visiting congressional delegation said.

"In early February, there will be ... a supplemental appropriation in addition to the 2006 budget for defence submitted to Congress," Jim Kolbe, Republican congressman from Arizona, told reporters.


US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who was also in Iraq visiting troops, promised Friday that the extra funds would be spent on equipment for ground forces stationed in the country in 2005 and 2006.


Kolbe was very critical of the pace of spending on reconstruction in Iraq given that 87 billion of supplemental funding for operations and reconstruction in Iraq and Afghanistan was approved in October 2003 by Congress on the assumption that they were "urgently needed."

Of the estimated 18.3 billion dollars allocated for reconstruction projects in Iraq, through October, roughly one billion dollars had been spent with officials citing security concerns as the main obstacle.

Kolbe also said there has been "little planning" in the way funds are spent as the White House requested earlier this year that more of the money be diverted from infrastructure to the training of Iraqi security forces.

"My subcommittee has raised serious concerns," he said. "All and all, we have been frustrated with the pace of reconstruction."

Kolbe is frustrated because, of the 18 billion that was appropriated for reconstruction in last year's emergency appropriation, only one billion actually was spent on reconstruction and the rest was diverted into military operations. This has him so upset that he's going to give the military 80 billion more. Why exactly? Is he hoping that if he gives them everything they want that they might like him better and let him have some of what was apportioned for his projects in the first place? Why is this man a Republican when he thinks so much like a DLC Democrat? Republicans are supposed to be the party of the stern father, don't they understand that you're not supposed to reward bad behavior?

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