Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The Iraq Supplemental

The Victory Caucus posted the text of the Iraq supplemental a little while ago. It's now also available on the Rules Committee website, along with the Appropriations Committee report. Have at it.

If you find pork - or new and more offensive provisions on Iraq or other matters - post it in the comments, or send it to me.

Note 1: A curious item on page 84 of the report. The Committee requires the Defense Department Inspector General to release a report on the circumstances surrounding the friendly-fire death of Pat Tillman:

How the Army and the Department of Defense handled this investigation is inexcusable. It has been nearly three years since the beginning of the Army's investigation and the Tillman family still has no resolution on the death of their son. Therefore, the Committee directs the Department of Defense's Inspector General to release a full incident report detailing the circumstance surrounding the death of Specialist Pat Tillman to the Tillman family and the Committee not later than 30 days after enactment of this Act.

Note 2: Page 184 of the bill prohibits the military from establishing permanent bases in Iraq:

The Committee does not support the establishment of permanent bases in Iraq, and does not include in this recommendation any funds to establish any such base, convert any base in Iraq from a temporary to a permanent status.

Note 3: The bill withholds almost $400 million for Provincial Reconstruction Teams until the administration submits a report. The PRTs are critical to the 'political solution' that the Democrats are calling for in Iraq, so it's surprising that they could not come up with a better way of addressing their concerns than blocking any expenditures on them for months. It's also surprising that the funds would be held up now, when they have been operating for months (years?):

Therefore, the Committee recommendation includes a proviso withholding from obligation $395,000,000 of the amount provided within Diplomatic and Consular Programs for Iraq operations until the Committee on Appropriations receives and approves a detailed plan for expenditure of the funds available for Iraq operations, including the U.S. Mission's operation requirements, the ongoing operations of the existing Provincial Reconstruction Teams, an the costs of establishing, supporting, and securing the new Provincial Reconstruction Teams. The plan is to be prepared by the Secretary of State and submitted within 60 days after the date of enactment of the Act.

Note 4: On page 198 of the report, the Democrats explain that they have cut $100 million outright from the President's request for Provincial Reconstruction Teams. Given the priority that they have placed on 'a political solution' for the trouble in Iraq, why would they slash funds for a critical component of that same solution:

Within the amount provided for Iraq, $620,000,000 is made available for PRTs, a reduction of $100,000,000 from the request. The Committee notes that the PRT program has been ongoing for more than one year. Many obstacles remain, such as the unstable security situation; the difficulty of integrating civilian and military personnel; and problems in recruiting and retraining qualified civilian personnel. The tactical shifts detailed in the President's surge announcement of January 10, 2007 include the doubling of PRTs and PRT civilian personnel in Iraq and the integration of PRTs and brigade combat teams (BCTs) in most areas.

Note 5: The Democrats have cut $40 million from 'Democracy and Civil Society' activities:

The Committee recommendation provides $388,000,000, a reduction of $40,000,000 from the request for Democracy and Civil Society activities. The Committee directs that the Department of State and the United States Agency for International Development, in consultation with the Committee, submit a spending plan and strategy no later than
45 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

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