cannabisnews.com: Panel Approves $9 Billion in Spending





Panel Approves $9 Billion in Spending
Posted by FoM on March 10, 2000 at 07:24:48 PT
By Eric Pianin, Washington Post Staff Writer
Source: Washington Post 
With budget surpluses mounting, the House Appropriations Committee last night approved $9 billion of additional spending this year for Colombian anti-drug efforts and military operations in Kosovo and jettisoned several controversial budget gimmicks that were used to get around spending limits.
Republicans last year skirted legally imposed budget caps by slowing the rate of payments to Pentagon contractors, shifting the last pay period for the military from fiscal 2000 to 2001 and other tactics. Yesterday, the committee agreed to abandon those tactics and use about $6.9 billion of surplus funds to cover the costs this year. The vote for the increased spending and elimination of budget tricks was 33 to 13."I'm glad the bill cleans up some of the more outrageous accounting gimmicks," said Rep. David R. Obey (Wis.), the ranking Appropriations Committee Democrat.Lawmakers were forced to adopt creative tactics last year to avoid violating their pledge not to dip into surplus revenue generated by the Social Security program. But this year, with projections of a $23 billion surplus outside of the retirement program, House Republican leaders added $3.7 billion to President Clinton's original supplemental spending request.The extra funds include $1.6 billion to cover the Pentagon's soaring fuel costs, $600 million to repair storm-damaged roads and bridges, $854 million for the Pentagon's financially troubled military health care program and $259.7 million for agricultural disaster assistance.House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) insisted on additional spending to expand the anti-drug initiative in Latin America to Bolivia, Ecuador and Peru. About $1.7 billion in all was earmarked to help Colombia and its neighbors combat cocaine production.The bill also satisfies demands of Appropriations Committee Chairman C.W. Bill Young (R-Fla.) and scores of other members to assist communities and farmers recovering from last fall's Hurricane Floyd and from other disasters and pestilence. Clinton proposed $1.2 billion for those purposes but the committee bill provides $2.2 billion.Young added $40 million to cover losses to citrus growers in southern Florida who were hard hit by the citrus canker. Another $7 million will go to combat Pierce's disease, which is hurting Southern California farms.The supplemental spending measure includes all $2 billion Clinton wants for the costs of American forces in Kosovo, and the $25 million for U.S. operations in East Timor.The money to combat drugs is controversial because many in both parties question the wisdom of an open-ended U.S. involvement in Colombia and disagree over which part of the Colombian government should get the money. Obey led an effort to withhold $552 million of the funds, but his amendment was rejected by a vote of 36 to 20."Congress needs to know a whole lot more about what we're doing before we proceed," Obey said.Staff writer Karen DeYoung contributed to this report. By Eric PianinWashington Post Staff WriterFriday, March 10, 2000; Page A09  Copyright 2000 The Washington Post CompanyRelated Articles:GOP Plans Funding Boost for Military, Drug Warhttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread5001.shtmlThe U.S. Is Setting A Trap for Itself In Colombiahttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread4979.shtmlColombia Rebels Declare War on United States http://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread4929.shtmlUS: Colombia Drug War To Take 5 Yrshttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread4914.shtmlFighting the New Drug Lords - Newsweek Internationalhttp://www.cannabisnews.com/news/thread4738.shtml 
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Comment #2 posted by dddd on March 11, 2000 at 02:25:22 PT
ghastly!
Is this not a blatant sham and a scam. NINE BILLION DOLLARS!!"Obey led an effort to withhold $552 million of the funds, but hisamendment was rejected by a vote of 36 to 20."..$552 is about 6% of 9 BILLION,and even that was voted down.Big deal! See , http://prorev.com/fastnews.htm This whole thing is beyond out of control.It's GHASTLY!...dddd
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Comment #1 posted by kaptinemo on March 10, 2000 at 07:52:31 PT:
The bodybag salesmen must be smiling
The money to combat drugs is controversial because many in both parties question the wisdom of an open-ended U.S. involvement in Colombia and disagree over which part of the Colombian government should get the money. Obey led an effort to withhold $552 million of the funds, but his amendment was rejected by a vote of 36 to 20."Congress needs to know a whole lot more about what we're doing before we proceed," Obey said.I say: You're damn' right they do!I am reminded of a scene from the movie 'Patton'. General Patton is driving past a group of American soldiers on a road in North Africa. "There goes Old Blood and Guts." one soldier says admiringly. "Yeah", his wounded partner says, "his guts. Our blood." The people who do the bleeding and dying all too often are forgotten in the pursuit of the Big Picture.Congress and the Prez need to be reminded that our soldiers are not plastic toys to be mangled, burned, decapitated and thrown away like the leavings in some child's sandbox. The US military has been used once too often in 'open-ended involvements' with disastrous results. Vietnam. Lebanon, Somalia. And now Colombia. The pols never seem to get it. And they want to engage us in a bloody 40 year long civil war, thinking that if we just show up, the rebels will be so frightened that they will give up? I'm so glad I'm out. 
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