US House approves $87.5 billion for Iraq
The US House of Representatives has approved an $87.5 billion supplemental spending bill in response to President Bush's request for additional financing to support occupying US military operations and reconstruction programs in Iraq and Afghanistan.
By a vote of 298-121, the House approved the compromise measure late October 30, 2003. The US Senate voted unanimously that the bill would be given automatic approval November 3, following House approval, reported Washington File.
What was not included in the final spending bill was an amendment originally inserted by the US Senate that would have required Iraq to repay at least some of the $18.6 billion reconstruction aid using Iraqi oil revenue. The White House had threatened to veto the measure if that provision was included in the final piece of legislation.
Congress also removed a Senate amendment that would have required Iraq to repay $10 billion in reconstruction funds unless foreign nations forgave at least 90 percent of Iraq's estimated $125 billion in foreign debt.
The supplemental spending legislation will provide $65.75 billion for continuing US military operations and national security-related matters in Iraq and Afghanistan, up slightly from the $65.56 billion originally sought by Bush. Of that amount, Iraq's reconstruction would receive $18.65 billion, slightly less than the $20.3 billion the administration had sought for Iraq.
Finally, the measure includes $50 million for rewards for information leading to the capture of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. — (menareport.com)
© 2003 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)