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Published:November 13th, 2007 09:42 EST
$50 billion bridge or temporary funding bill for military operations

$50 billion bridge or temporary funding bill for military operations

By SOP newswire

On November 8, House Appropriations Committee chair David Obey (D-WI) and Defense Appropriations Subcommittee chair John Murtha (D-PA) released a $50 billion “bridge” or temporary funding bill for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill also contains, in Title I, Iraq policy language that is sure to ignite controversy and may be altered before any funding provisions are approved. 

The Administration’s request for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan now totals about $190 billion for Fiscal Year 2008, so the “bridge” funding provides slightly more than 25% of the Administration’s total request. The remainder of the request is expected to be considered by Congress in early 2008. 

For information on increasing war costs, see these recent Center analyses: 

“CBO Says $1.765 Trillion to $2.365 Trillion for Iraq” (October 24),  http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/policy/securityspending/articles/cbo_iraq_debt_forecast/  

“White House Funding Request Highlights Skyrocketing Pentagon Spending” (October 23), http://www.armscontrolcenter.org/policy/securityspending/articles/skyrocketing_pentagon_spending/ 
 

BACKGROUND 

In February 2007, the Administration submitted its FY2008 Iraq and Afghanistan war funding request alongside its normal “base” budget request for the Department of Defense. The “base” budget passed the House and Senate on November 8. The war funding request, which initially stood at $142 billion, has grown to about $190 billion, making it the largest war funding request since Global War on Terror operations began in 2001. 

When FY2008 began on October 1, Congress had yet to pass a single appropriation bill. On September 27, lawmakers approved a continuing resolution (CR) providing temporary funding at FY2007 levels for all discretionary programs through November 16, approximately $5 billion of which went to GWOT operations according to estimates by the Congressional Research Service. This CR was extended by Congress through December 14 by language included in the Department of Defense “base” budget bill which passed on November 8. 

Emergency supplemental funding has been used to pay for almost all of the costs in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Because they are not subject to the same federal caps that apply to the “base” defense budget, however, supplementals are a tempting pot of money for services seeking to increase their annual procurement accounts. 
 

IMPACT OF DELAYED CONGRESSIONAL ACTION 

A reoccurring issue Congress has faced is whether delaying the passage of supplemental war funding packages will harm troops engaged in combat. In testimony before the House Budget Committee on October 24, Amy Belasco of the Congressional Research Service estimated that the Army would have enough “cash flow” to finance its war expenses until about mid-January 2008 using transferred “base” budget funds that would otherwise be used later in FY2008. By using its transfer authority and slowing non-readiness-related operating funding for its regular activities – steps it has taken in previous years – Belasco estimated that the Army could finance operations until mid-February 2008. 
 

HIGHLIGHTS OF OBEY-MURTHA 

TITLE I – IRAQ POLICY LANGUAGE 

Prohibition on Torture – States that no person in U.S. custody may be subjected to interrogation techniques not listed in U.S. Army Field Manual FM2-22.3 (HumInt Collector Ops) and prohibits funds from being used to contravene the U.N. Convention Against Torture. 

Deployed Units Must Be “Fully Mission Capable” – Requires that the President certify in writing to Congress, 15 days prior to deployment, that units are “fully mission capable” as defined by DoD’s Defense Readiness Reporting System. However, the President may waive the restriction “for reasons of national security” on a unit-by-unit basis. 

Commence Redeployment From Iraq – Requires the President to commence an “immediate and orderly” redeployment from Iraq within 30 days of enactment, beginning with units deployed longer than a year, with a goal for completing the transition to a smaller troop presence with limited missions by December 15, 2008. 

Transition the Mission – States that after December 15, 2008, U.S. armed forces may be deployed to Iraq for only three missions: 1) protecting U.S. diplomatic facilities and citizens; 2) training and equipping Iraqi Security Forces; and 3) engaging in targeted counterterrorism operations. 

Congress Will Next Consider War Funding February 1, 2008 – States that the money provided in the “bridge” fund (Title II, see below) will be sufficient to meet the needs of the U.S. armed forces until February 1, 2008, the date the Secretary of Defense must submit to Congress a detailed report on U.S. redeployment plans and broader regional strategy.   
 

TITLE II - $50 BILLION IN WAR FUNDING 

Afghanistan/Iraq Security Forces Fund – Provides $1 billion ($500 million apiece) for Afghanistan and Iraq security force development, including equipment, supplies, services, training, facility and infrastructure repair, and education. 

Iraq Freedom Fund – Provides $3.2 billion for the Iraq Freedom Fund, a “slush” fund that provides the Secretary of Defense and Director of National Intelligence with the authority to redirect funds at will provided they notify Congress 30 days prior. 

Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Fund – Provides $1.6 billion for the Joint Improvised Explosive Device Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) to investigate, develop and provide equipment, supplies, services, training, facilities, and personnel to defeat IEDs. 

No Permanent Bases, No Oil Control – Prohibits any funding for establishing permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq or exercising control over Iraq’s oil resources. 
 

FUNDING PROVISIONS OF OBEY-MURTHA  

NOTE: There are three sets of figures presented here – those from the Administration’s original February 2007 war funding request, those from the amended October 2007 war funding request, and those included in the Obey-Murtha “bridge” war funding package. There are in a number of cases significant discrepancies between the figures included in the original war funding request, and the corresponding figures as reflected in the amended war funding request (for example, the February request shows “Procurement, Defense-Wide” as $470 million, while the amended request gives the figure as $601 million, with an additional request of $167 million, for a February/October total of $768 million). In most cases, the figures for both the original February request and the amount reported in the October amendment are used, and are shown in normal print. Where significant discrepancies exist, the figures from the February request are shown in bold. Figures from the Obey-Murtha package are shown in italics, unless otherwise noted. 

Total Funding

Request: $190 billion

“Bridge:” $50 billion (26% of total request) 

Personnel

Request: $16.98 billion [Feb: $17.07 billion]

Oct. Amendment: + $769 million

Total: $17.75 billion

“Bridge:” $1 billion (6% of total request) 

Operations & Maintenance

Request: $76.98 billion [Feb: $79.19 billion]

Oct. Amendment: + $11.67 billion

Total: $88.65 billion

“Bridge:” $42.3 billion (48% of total request) 

Procurement

Request: $44.52 billion [Feb: $39.96 billion]

Oct. Amendment: + $27.07 billion

Total: $71.59 billion

“Bridge:” $5.1 billion (7% of total request)

NOTE #1: The October amendment does not reflect $4.9 billion for procurement for the National Guard and Reserve included in the original request, nor does it include any funding for these accounts. Neither does the “bridge” fund.

NOTE #2: The original request shows $4.83 billion for “Procurement, Marine Corps,” while the amendment shows $2.46 billion for the same figure, a difference of $2.37 billion. 

Research, Development, Testing & Evaluation

Request: $2.88 billion [Feb: $2.86 billion]

Oct. Amendment: + $985 million

Total: $3.87 billion

“Bridge:” none 

Military Construction

Request: $896 million [Feb: $908 million]

Oct. Amendment: + $1.53 billion*

Total: $2.43 billion

“Bridge:” none

*NOTE: Amendment includes $415.9 million in Base Realignment and Closure funding to expedite the replacement of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. 

Revolving and Management Funds

Request: $1.68 billion [Feb: $1.68 billion]

Oct. Amendment: + $218 million

Total: $1.96 billion

“Bridge:” none 

Defense Health Program (O&M portion only)

Request: $1.02 billion

Oct. Amendment: + $115 million

Total: $1.14 billion

“Bridge:” $599 million (53% of total request) 
 

GENERAL PROVISIONS OF OBEY-MURTHA 

Transfer Authority – Authorizes $4 billion in transfer authority to the Secretary of Defense for shifting money between different accounts. 

Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP) – Authorizes $500 million in operations and maintenance funding for the Commander’s Emergency Response Program, a popular program with U.S. officers that permits them to finance urgent humanitarian relief and reconstruction requirements in their area of responsibility (AOR). 

Extensive Reporting Requirements – Requires the Secretary of Defense, starting January 15, 2008 and every 90 days after that date, to report to Congress on political and military stability in Iraq, including information on military engagements, Iraqi political milestones, militia activity, economic development, and Iraq Security Forces development. 
 

FY2008 PROGRAM FUNDING FROM FEBRUARY WAR REQUEST 

Iraqi/Afghani Security Forces – Requests $2 billion for Iraqi Security Forces and $2.7 billion for Afghani Security Forces. 

Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP) – Requests $977 million for the CERP program. 

F-35 Joint Strike Fighter – Includes $230 million for procurement of one F-35 aircraft for the Air Force. 

F/A-18E/F “Super Hornet” Fighter – Requests $714 million for 12 F/A-18E/F aircraft for the Navy. 

C-130J Transport Aircraft – Includes $1.356 billion for procurement of 17 C-130J aircraft for the Air Force, and $495 million for seven KC-130J for the Navy. 

V-22 “Osprey” Tilt-rotor Aircraft – Includes $493 million in Air Force funding for procurement of five CV-22 aircraft and $141 million for two V-22 aircraft for the Navy 

Army Helicopters – Includes $223 million for 29 Armed Reconnaissance Helicopters and $527 million for 39 UH-60M “Blackhawk” helicopters for the Army. 

Stryker Light Armored Vehicles – Requests $403 million for 100 Strykers for the Army. 
 

SOURCES

 

Draft text of Obey-Murtha bridge fund bill, released November 8. 

Original FY2008 war funding request, released February 2007, available online: http://www.defenselink.mil/comptroller/defbudget/fy2008/fy2007_supplemental/FY2008_Global_War_On_Terror_Request/FY_2008_GWOT_Request_-_Funding_Summary_(All_Appropriations).pdf  

Amended FY2008 war funding request, released October 2007, available online: http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/budget/amendments/amendment_10_22_07.pdf 
 

CONTACT

 

Chris Hellman, Military Policy Fellow, chellman@armscontrolcenter.org

Travis Sharp, Military Policy Analyst, tsharp@armscontrolcenter.org, 202-546-0795 ext. 123

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