Washington: Democrats in the US House of Representatives unveiled a $94.2 billion emergency spending bill to cover the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, fight a flu pandemic, and a range of other outlays.
Democratic House Appropriations Committee chairman David Obey said the panel would meet today to take up the measure, which is $9.3 billion above what US President Barack Obama requested.
Lawmakers dealt a blow to Obama’s push to close the suspected terrorist detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, by stripping out the roughly $80 million he sought for that purpose.
“I personally favour what the administration is talking about doing but so far as we can tell, there is yet no concrete program for that,” said Obey. “I’m not much interested in wasting my energy defending a theoretical program.”
The proposal also ties funding for Obama’s new Pakistan and Afghanistan strategy to requirements that the White House produce a report on both countries’ cooperation and performance in the fight against Islamists.
The House measure includes $78.4 billion for the Defense Department - $4.7 billion more than Obama’s request at a time when US forces are ramping up in Afghanistan and moving towards a full withdrawal from Iraq.