Senate Begins Debating FY ’10 War Supplemental

Senate Begins Debating FY ’10 War Supplemental

By Emelie Rutherford

The Senate began considering yesterday a supplemental bill with $33.45 billion in war funding for the Pentagon, though the timing of a final vote was unknown amid Republican concerns about procedural aspects of the legislation.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) has complained that the fiscal year 2010 "emergency" supplemental, which totals $58.8 billion when including non-defense funding, evades rules that lawmakers cover new spending with corresponding funding cuts. He is expected to offer at least one amendment regarding such spending offsets; his actions are expected to extend debate on the supplemental over several days this week.

"Congress’ failure to pay for war supplemental bills in the past in no way justifies a similar failure today," Coburn said in a statement, adding it is time for Congress to "pass a bill that is paid for."

Defense Secretary Robert Gates had wanted Congress to pass the already delayed supplemental by the end of the month. Congress is set to start a week-long Memorial Day recess on Saturday that will extend into June.

Much of the war portion of the supplemental, for operations in Afghanistan and Iraq through the end of FY ’10 on Sept. 30, is intended to fund the surge of 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.

In addition to Republicans concerned about the financial aspects of the supplemental, the measure also faces resistance from anti-war Democrats in the House. In an unusual move, the Senate is considering… Want the rest of the story? Subscribe to Defense Daily today and receive all the detailed news and information you need each day. 

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