House Narrowly Rejects Punitive Cut In Aid To
Friday, June 9, 2006
The Wall Street Journal
By David Rogers
The 225-198 vote came as the House pushed toward
passage today of a $21.3 billion foreign-aid budget that already rescinds $200
million from prior economic aid for
Rep. Jim Kolbe (R., Ariz.), the bill’s manager, argued that to cut more at this stage would “kick sand in the face” of a strategic ally. But 44 Republicans, including House International Relations Committee Chairman Henry Hyde (R., Ill.), backed the amendment, whose chief sponsor, Rep. David Obey (D., Wis.), said State Department officials had signaled more receptivity given their own frustration with the Egyptian government’s performance.
The clampdown in
Mr. Obey, the senior Democrat on the House
Appropriations Committee and a prominent voice on foreign policy, had first
proposed cutting $200 million from the $1.3 billion in military aid for
To win votes, the amendment called for dividing
the $100 million equally among two popular causes: fighting AIDS and famine in
The underlying foreign-aid bill represents a $597 million increase over this year, but this belies a major budget-cutting exercise, since the administration requested almost $2.4 billion more than
the bill would provide for the new budget year that begins Oct. 1. The administration is promised $3.4 billion to fight AIDS and tuberculosis, and the White House would get most, but not all, of the money requested for an initiative to fight malaria.
The House floor action came as Republican leaders
in Congress reached final agreement on a long-delayed wartime-spending bill to
pay for military operations in
Within the $427.6 billion total, $50 billion
represents a further emergency expenditure, largely for
Pentagon budget for the year, and as with foreign aid, cuts are made from the administration’s request. The $81.78 billion provided for procurement is $1.14 billion less than requested and includes a $140 million cut from the Air Force procurement of the
Joint Strike Fighter and $88 million from planned purchases of the Global Hawk unmanned-aerial vehicle.