Tuesday, April 15, 2008

National Security Legislative Wrap-up

The mark-up or writing of the second portion of the Fiscal Year 2008 Supplemental Appropriations bill, totaling about $108 billion, is still floating in the air. The House Appropriations Committee mark-up could be this week, next week or later. The Senate Appropriations Committee has set a tentative date for mark-up of the same bill on April 23.

At this point, the bill could become a "Christmas tree" on which to hang many amendments: setting a deadline for bringing U.S. troops home from Iraq, mandates for training and equipping troops, longer rest time between deployments, blocking a long-term commitment to the Iraqi government, requiring U.S. reconstruction assistance to be considered loans to Iraq and increasing education benefits for veterans. The bill also may be separated into two bills -- one to pay for the war in Afghanistan and second to pay for the war in Iraq.

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