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Senate Approves $87 Billion for Iraq, Afghanistan Efforts

The House endorsed the legislation, 298-121, on Friday.

The funds are in addition to the $79 billion that Congress approved in April for the war in Iraq, efforts in Afghanistan, homeland security work in the United States and financially troubled U.S. airlines.

The bill passed Monday covers expenses through Sept. 30, 2004. It allocates roughly $51 billion for Iraq, $10 billion for Afghanistan, $2 billion for domestic defense projects, as well as funds for Liberia, Jordan, Pakistan and other U.S. allies.

Nearly $65 billion for Defense Department and military and intelligence operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas around the world include the following funds:

Operations and Maintenance: $39.2 billion (including nearly $2 billion for the Iraq Freedom Fund, a separate, flexible Defense Department account to support Iraq and Afghanistan postwar operations as the Pentagon sees fit; and $1.4 billion for Jordan, Pakistan and other cooperating nations);

— military personnel: $17.8 billion;

— procurement: $5.5 billion;

— fuel, repairs, miscellaneous: $624 million;

— defense health program: $658 million;

— military research, development, testing and evaluation: $334 million;

— munitions destruction (in Iraq): $100 million;

— drug interdiction activities (in Afghanistan): $73 million; and

— intelligence community management: $21.5 million.

Postwar Iraq relief and reconstruction accounts total $18.6 billion, which includes money for electricity systems ($5.6 billion), potable water and sanitation systems ($4.3 billion), security, army and law enforcement ($3.2 billion), oil infrastructure ($1.9 billion), and justice, health care, transportation and other systems.

Afghanistan relief and reconstruction funds total $1.2 billion for infrastructure improvements, private sector economic development, democracy and voter registration efforts, education and school system improvements, and telecommunications and health care systems.

Additional funding is earmarked for:

— the Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq: $983 million;

— Liberia, international peacekeeping activities: $245 million;

— famine and other natural disasters in Sudan and Liberia: $110 million;

— information leading to or capture of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden: $50 million;

— U.S. embassy in Kabul: $44 million; and

— Arabic broadcasting services to Iraq through the U.S. agency, Broadcasting Board of Governors: $40 million.

Other funds, not requested by the Bush administration but added to the bill by Congress, include $500 million for Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster assistance stemming from Hurricane Isabel and the wildfires in Southern California, and $313 million to repair military facilities from damage caused by Hurricane Isabel and other natural disasters.

The legislation prohibits any funds from going toward Iraq’s foreign debts incurred prior to May 1. It also mandates that all funds used for contracts be submitted through the legal competitive procedures, unless the contracting agency provides Congress a justification for why the agency must circumvent the standard competitive protocols.

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