6:54 PM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 1284, I call up from the Speaker's table the bill (H.R. 2642) making appropriations for military construction, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes, with the Senate amendments to the House amendments to the Senate amendment thereto, and ask for its immediate consideration.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

6:54 PM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, pursuant to House Resolution 1284, I call up from the Speaker's table the bill (H.R. 2642) making appropriations for military construction, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2008, and for other purposes, with the Senate amendments to the House amendments to the Senate amendment thereto, and ask for its immediate consideration.

The Clerk read the title of the bill.

6:55 PM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the pending legislation.

6:55 PM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, we've heard a lot of comments tonight about what there should or should not be in this legislation, and I agree with many of those comments. And honestly, just once, acting as chairman of a committee, I would like to put together a bill which reflects my priorities. But that is not usually what chairmen have to do in this place.

What we have to do is try to find a consensus that will gather 218 votes and be sustained over time. And on this bill, there are some peculiar problems because, very frankly, we have a very different constituency in this House for continuing the war in Iraq than we have for most of the other items in the bill and, therefore, we had to find a way to allow each and every Member of the House to express his or her opinion. We had to try to find a way to allow each and every Member to vote their convictions

in a way which would not keep the House tied up in knots for another 6 months.

Now, the way we did that was to adopt a procedure under which we took a conference report pending between the Senate and the House, and used that as the device by which each House would express their preferences, and we would work our way to a solution.

Our committee is often criticized because we wind up producing omnibus appropriations in which everything is thrown into one package, and people are forced to vote up or down on the entire package. What we tried to do this time was to do just the opposite, to disaggregate these issues so that people would have a chance to vote separately on the major propositions in the legislation.

And that is why the House sent to the Senate originally three amendments. We sent one amendment that would fund the operations for Iraq and Afghanistan. We sent a second amendment which stipulated the conditions under which the first amendment money could be expended. And then we had a third amendment which laid out, basically, other domestic priorities or associated military priorities that we thought were important. And we sent it to the Senate, and it included a number of items about which

questions have been raised tonight.

In addition to the expanded GI benefits for veterans and unemployment compensation, we tried to protect the Medicaid safety net by having a moratorium on seven Medicaid regulations.

[Time: 19:00]

We also had a number of restrictions on Iraq policy, one requiring that any money that is expended for reconstruction by the State Department or USAID be matched dollar for dollar by the Iraqi Government so that they [Page: H5667]

would begin to pick up a fair share of the cost of redeveloping their own country.

We also had language with respect to trying to assure that there would be no permanent bases in Iraq. We had funding $2.2 billion above the President's level for military construction and veterans' hospitals, and we fully funded BRAC.

Someone asked earlier on the floor today why did we have $178 million in this war supplemental for the Bureau of Prisons. Very simple. Because the executive agency asked for the money because if we don't, there are going to be prison guards laid off because there has been a heavier than expected Federal prison population. And that may not be an emergency to Members of Congress, but if you're one of those prison guards who's working shorthanded under dangerous situations, you don't want to have

people laid off in those Federal prisons.

And so we sent that package over to the Senate, and the Senate added roughly 37 additional items which cost $10 billion and which the House felt, in many instances, did not accurately reflect emergency expenditure funds.

So the Senate sent those amendments back to us, and among other things, they stripped out totally the conditions on the war. That is why I will personally vote against amendment No. 1 because I would vote for that amendment provided that we had a set of reasonable conditions in defining what our national policy is in Iraq. Absent those conditions, I don't intend to vote for that amendment.

But I do intend to vote for the second amendment, and I want to take just a moment to explain what was in it. Primarily, we do three important things: We, first of all, create a new program to provide greatly expanded education benefits for American veterans under the GI Bill. We have some Members of this House who are unhappy about the fact that that is not paid for. I am among them. But I would point out that the entire war is not being paid for. Mr. Murtha and I and Mr. McGovern

tried to offer the House an opportunity to vote to pay for the entire war. We did not, frankly, find much enthusiasm for that on either side of the political aisle.

But we stipulated that we felt that if that war was going to be fought, even though I personally think it's the most misguided war since the War of 1812, nonetheless, we felt if the war was going to be fought, at least we ought to pay for it so we didn't pass the cost down to our grandkids.

That has not happened.

My point is simply that if we aren't going to pay for the war, then I feel no particular guilt about saying to the GIs who have fought the war that we aren't going to provide you with the equivalent of a 4-year college education because we have had no sense of self-sacrifice in this country except on the part of military families. They've been asked to sacrifice again and again and again while the rest of us have been asked to go shopping or swallow a tax cut. And I think that's illegitimate.

We lost the argument on funding the war, and it just seems to me that it is a peculiar view of proportion if people get exercised about not paying for the GI Bill expansion but don't get exercised about not paying for the war. It would take over 50 years of paying benefits under this new expanded GI Bill. It would take more than 50 years to spend as much money on veterans as will be spent in a 2-year period in Iraq.

And so I make no apology. While I would prefer that it be paid for, I make no apology for the fact that, in the end, it wasn't. This is the only way that we could get the United States Senate and the administration to accept the expanded GI Bill. And I think we owe it to those veterans to provide it no matter what the budgetary niceties are.

Secondly, with respect to unemployment compensation. We wound up essentially--and I want to thank Mr. Rangel especially for the work he did in conference yesterday. The House initially sent over a package which provided 13 weeks of expanded unemployment benefits for every State in the country and then provided an additional 13 weeks on top of that for States with high unemployment rates.

The administration, as you know, Mr. Speaker, did not want that. They objected to it. So we looked for various ways to try to salvage as much of that as we could.

In the end, we adopted changes which bring the cost of that down from about $10 billion to $8 billion. So we have retained 80 percent of the original unemployment compensation provision.

We've made two changes. We have agreed with the administration's request to require 20 weeks of work history if a person is going to be eligible for that, and we also dropped the second step, the targeting of those benefits. We will have to deal with that issue on another bill in another venue.

The third issue that was causing great controversy was the fact that we were trying to place a moratorium on seven Medicaid regulations that the administration was trying to impose that would cut services to seniors, families, and those with disabilities. In the end, we got six of those seven in the package. I think that's doing pretty well.

Because of the new disasters that we have had around the country, certainly most visible in Iowa recently, the administration agreed to $1.8 billion in disaster funding. This bill comes in considerably higher than that at $2.65 billion.

That's basically the outline of what we have done. And there are several other items in the bill. One that Members should be aware of, if we do not get our appropriation bills done by the end of the fiscal year--that has been known to happen from time to time around here--if that doesn't happen, then if we were to proceed for a short time on a continuing resolution, Israel would wind up receiving $170 million less than the President's budget. We did not want that to happen. And so we are including

in this bill a provision which guarantees that as of October 1, that even if we were to pass a continuing resolution at last year's level, Israel would not be accidentally shortchanged by that action and they would get that additional $170 million.

There are a number of other provisions in the bill, but I think most Members are familiar with them. Most of these items have been around for quite a while.

And so with that, Mr. Speaker, I would like to reserve the balance of my time.

6:55 PM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, we've heard a lot of comments tonight about what there should or should not be in this legislation, and I agree with many of those comments. And honestly, just once, acting as chairman of a committee, I would like to put together a bill which reflects my priorities. But that is not usually what chairmen have to do in this place.

What we have to do is try to find a consensus that will gather 218 votes and be sustained over time. And on this bill, there are some peculiar problems because, very frankly, we have a very different constituency in this House for continuing the war in Iraq than we have for most of the other items in the bill and, therefore, we had to find a way to allow each and every Member of the House to express his or her opinion. We had to try to find a way to allow each and every Member to vote their convictions

in a way which would not keep the House tied up in knots for another 6 months.

Now, the way we did that was to adopt a procedure under which we took a conference report pending between the Senate and the House, and used that as the device by which each House would express their preferences, and we would work our way to a solution.

Our committee is often criticized because we wind up producing omnibus appropriations in which everything is thrown into one package, and people are forced to vote up or down on the entire package. What we tried to do this time was to do just the opposite, to disaggregate these issues so that people would have a chance to vote separately on the major propositions in the legislation.

And that is why the House sent to the Senate originally three amendments. We sent one amendment that would fund the operations for Iraq and Afghanistan. We sent a second amendment which stipulated the conditions under which the first amendment money could be expended. And then we had a third amendment which laid out, basically, other domestic priorities or associated military priorities that we thought were important. And we sent it to the Senate, and it included a number of items about which

questions have been raised tonight.

In addition to the expanded GI benefits for veterans and unemployment compensation, we tried to protect the Medicaid safety net by having a moratorium on seven Medicaid regulations.

[Time: 19:00]

We also had a number of restrictions on Iraq policy, one requiring that any money that is expended for reconstruction by the State Department or USAID be matched dollar for dollar by the Iraqi Government so that they [Page: H5667]

would begin to pick up a fair share of the cost of redeveloping their own country.

We also had language with respect to trying to assure that there would be no permanent bases in Iraq. We had funding $2.2 billion above the President's level for military construction and veterans' hospitals, and we fully funded BRAC.

Someone asked earlier on the floor today why did we have $178 million in this war supplemental for the Bureau of Prisons. Very simple. Because the executive agency asked for the money because if we don't, there are going to be prison guards laid off because there has been a heavier than expected Federal prison population. And that may not be an emergency to Members of Congress, but if you're one of those prison guards who's working shorthanded under dangerous situations, you don't want to have

people laid off in those Federal prisons.

And so we sent that package over to the Senate, and the Senate added roughly 37 additional items which cost $10 billion and which the House felt, in many instances, did not accurately reflect emergency expenditure funds.

So the Senate sent those amendments back to us, and among other things, they stripped out totally the conditions on the war. That is why I will personally vote against amendment No. 1 because I would vote for that amendment provided that we had a set of reasonable conditions in defining what our national policy is in Iraq. Absent those conditions, I don't intend to vote for that amendment.

But I do intend to vote for the second amendment, and I want to take just a moment to explain what was in it. Primarily, we do three important things: We, first of all, create a new program to provide greatly expanded education benefits for American veterans under the GI Bill. We have some Members of this House who are unhappy about the fact that that is not paid for. I am among them. But I would point out that the entire war is not being paid for. Mr. Murtha and I and Mr. McGovern

tried to offer the House an opportunity to vote to pay for the entire war. We did not, frankly, find much enthusiasm for that on either side of the political aisle.

But we stipulated that we felt that if that war was going to be fought, even though I personally think it's the most misguided war since the War of 1812, nonetheless, we felt if the war was going to be fought, at least we ought to pay for it so we didn't pass the cost down to our grandkids.

That has not happened.

My point is simply that if we aren't going to pay for the war, then I feel no particular guilt about saying to the GIs who have fought the war that we aren't going to provide you with the equivalent of a 4-year college education because we have had no sense of self-sacrifice in this country except on the part of military families. They've been asked to sacrifice again and again and again while the rest of us have been asked to go shopping or swallow a tax cut. And I think that's illegitimate.

We lost the argument on funding the war, and it just seems to me that it is a peculiar view of proportion if people get exercised about not paying for the GI Bill expansion but don't get exercised about not paying for the war. It would take over 50 years of paying benefits under this new expanded GI Bill. It would take more than 50 years to spend as much money on veterans as will be spent in a 2-year period in Iraq.

And so I make no apology. While I would prefer that it be paid for, I make no apology for the fact that, in the end, it wasn't. This is the only way that we could get the United States Senate and the administration to accept the expanded GI Bill. And I think we owe it to those veterans to provide it no matter what the budgetary niceties are.

Secondly, with respect to unemployment compensation. We wound up essentially--and I want to thank Mr. Rangel especially for the work he did in conference yesterday. The House initially sent over a package which provided 13 weeks of expanded unemployment benefits for every State in the country and then provided an additional 13 weeks on top of that for States with high unemployment rates.

The administration, as you know, Mr. Speaker, did not want that. They objected to it. So we looked for various ways to try to salvage as much of that as we could.

In the end, we adopted changes which bring the cost of that down from about $10 billion to $8 billion. So we have retained 80 percent of the original unemployment compensation provision.

We've made two changes. We have agreed with the administration's request to require 20 weeks of work history if a person is going to be eligible for that, and we also dropped the second step, the targeting of those benefits. We will have to deal with that issue on another bill in another venue.

The third issue that was causing great controversy was the fact that we were trying to place a moratorium on seven Medicaid regulations that the administration was trying to impose that would cut services to seniors, families, and those with disabilities. In the end, we got six of those seven in the package. I think that's doing pretty well.

Because of the new disasters that we have had around the country, certainly most visible in Iowa recently, the administration agreed to $1.8 billion in disaster funding. This bill comes in considerably higher than that at $2.65 billion.

That's basically the outline of what we have done. And there are several other items in the bill. One that Members should be aware of, if we do not get our appropriation bills done by the end of the fiscal year--that has been known to happen from time to time around here--if that doesn't happen, then if we were to proceed for a short time on a continuing resolution, Israel would wind up receiving $170 million less than the President's budget. We did not want that to happen. And so we are including

in this bill a provision which guarantees that as of October 1, that even if we were to pass a continuing resolution at last year's level, Israel would not be accidentally shortchanged by that action and they would get that additional $170 million.

There are a number of other provisions in the bill, but I think most Members are familiar with them. Most of these items have been around for quite a while.

And so with that, Mr. Speaker, I would like to reserve the balance of my time.

7:08 PM EDT

Louise Slaughter, D-NY 28th

Ms. SLAUGHTER. Thank you, Madam Speaker.

For the purpose of debate only, I yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. Dreier). All time yielded during consideration of the rule is for debate only.

I yield myself such time as I may consume and ask unanimous consent that all Members be given 5 legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks on House Resolution 1281.

7:08 PM EDT

Jerry Lewis, R-CA 41st

Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, we've heard from a number of sources in the last hour or so that this is the 500th day since the President sent this request for absolutely crucial funding for our troops who are fighting in the Middle East. It's been heard enough that I don't think we need to dwell upon that a lot.

7:08 PM EDT

Jerry Lewis, R-CA 41st

Mr. LEWIS of California. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself as much time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, we've heard from a number of sources in the last hour or so that this is the 500th day since the President sent this request for absolutely crucial funding for our troops who are fighting in the Middle East. It's been heard enough that I don't think we need to dwell upon that a lot.

7:09 PM EDT

John A. Boehner, R-OH 8th

Mr. BOEHNER. Mr. Speaker, let me thank my colleague for yielding, and let me thank him for his work, the majority leader Mr. Hoyer, and the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, Mr. Obey, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Rangel

It's not often that on a major bill that with as much controversy as we've had with this bill that we can come together and work as a Congress on both sides of the aisle and come to a compromise. The gentleman from Wisconsin outlined the provisions of the bill. I might have described them a little differently than he did. But a compromise is that. It's a compromise. You know, there are 435 of us. Any one of us could write this bill in a way that fit our own interests.

But at the end of the day, I think there was cooperation on both sides to come to this agreement. And I believe that at the end of the day, it's a victory for our troops, it's a victory for American families, it's a victory for our veterans, and for those in need who are unemployed.

Now, we could get into the whole issue of Iraq. I'm glad we're there. I wish it had gone better. I wish it had gone quicker. I want our troops to come home as soon as possible. But I want our troops to come home having succeeded in Iraq. The effort, the fight that's going on in Iraq, it's not about tomorrow, it's not about next month or next year. It is about the future for our kids and theirs.

Our soldiers in Iraq have brought more security to that country, the political process is working better, and building a democracy in a part of the world that's never known it, there is no price. There is no price that we can put on what that may mean for the future for our kids and theirs.

I know it's been difficult. It's been difficult for all Americans. And it's certainly been difficult for our troops and especially for those troops that have given their lives in defense of our country. But it's a price for freedom. And I think freedom for our kids and theirs is why a lot of us are here. And so supporting our troops that are in Iraq and Afghanistan is important.

I could criticize the majority that this bill should have happened a long time ago. There's no reason to get into that. But I think we're doing the right thing for our troops in this bill finally. I think the expanded GI benefits in this bill, while they may not be exactly as I would write them, taking care of our veterans should be our highest priority and making sure that they have the kinds of educational benefits that will help not only them but also their families will help us retain more

of our soldiers, and help give them the benefits that they and their families deserve.

When it comes to the unemployment benefits that are included in this bill, I think it's a reasonable provision to require 20 weeks of work, which is current law, and to extend 13 additional weeks for all 50 States. I wouldn't have done it that way. The gentleman from New York (Mr. Rangel) knows that. We had a discussion about it. But again, a compromise is a compromise.

I want to thank my Democrat colleagues for working with us to get to this point. And I want to thank them for this commitment that this is the bill, this is the bill that will end up on the President's desk.

And so I would ask all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to vote for this. You may not love it, but this is one of those moments when you've worked together, you've worked out a compromise, that Members need to just suck it up and vote ``yes'' because it's the right thing to do for our country.

7:13 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. I thank the chairman for yielding.

I want to thank the chairman. No one has worked harder to get us to this point in time in a bill that can be signed by the President and passed by the Senate. No one has worked harder than David Obey has on that objective, and he spent months at it. His staff has worked extraordinarily hard.

I also want to thank my counterpart, the minority leader Mr. Boehner who just spoke, and thank him for his efforts. This agreement would not have been reached without his leadership and his cooperation, and I appreciate that.

[Time: 19:15]

I also want to thank Mr. Lewis for his work on this effort as well.

Mr. Speaker, this supplemental appropriations legislation is the result, as has been said, of a bipartisan compromise that addresses critical needs of the American people.

Will every Member be happy with the substance of the two amendments that we are going to consider? The answer to that question is no.

Will every Member here get what he or she wants? Again, the answer is no. That is, after all, the legislative process.

However, our Nation is at war. We have 150,000 men and women in harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan. Catastrophic floods continue to wreak havoc in Iowa and other States in the Midwest. And millions of our workers are struggling to make ends meet because they've lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

These two amendments that we will consider address these needs, as well as others.

The first amendment will provide funding for our troops on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each Member will decide how they should vote, and their vote should not be questioned on that particular amendment.

It is also important to note that the second amendment includes important policy provisions regarding the war in Iraq.

First, it prohibits military construction funds from being used to establish permanent bases in Iraq. We have addressed that previously in this House and overwhelmingly supported that proposition.

Secondly, it requires reconstruction aid for Iraq to be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Iraqi Government. With the price of oil being what it is, having been told by the administration that the oil in Iraq would pay for all reconstruction, that is a reasonable and appropriate requirement.

Additionally, the second amendment includes major legislative items that the White House has agreed to accept. That is a good sign that there is an opportunity to work together when the interests of the American people are at stake. We don't always do that. The American public is concerned about that and disappointed by that. But this night, we have come to such an agreement, and the American public can be pleased by that.

Among other things, this amendment expands the education benefits that veterans receive under the GI Bill to restore the promise of a full, 4-year college education, and allowing servicemembers to transfer educational benefits to their spouses and dependents. That was a bipartisan agreement. It's something that we can be pleased about as a country. It's something that we do, in fact, owe our veterans, and we will redeem that promise this night.

Thus, this legislation supports our troops not only when they're abroad but when they return home as well.

We know from our experience with the original GI Bill that this legislation will foster an educated workforce and a vibrant economy. The greatest generation, after all, not only defeated fascism--Charlie Rangel, at a later time, fought for our country in the field--but they also came home, that greatest generation, and built the greatest economy the world has seen. This bill will help in many ways redeem the promise for this generation of men and women who are asked to defend our country

and its freedom. It is the right thing to do. We will do it this night. [Page: H5669]

The President initially indicated his opposition to an extension of unemployment insurance. But this second amendment includes a 13-week extension for workers in every State who have exhausted their benefits. Again, the right thing to do.

The administration also had placed a moratorium on seven Medicaid regulations, the result of which would cut services for seniors, families, and those with disabilities. The administration, after conversation with both sides, has decided and agreed to a moratorium on six of the seven regulations. That's good for the States, but more importantly, it's good for those whom these dollars will help in a time of trouble. This provision has overwhelmingly been supported in this House previously, both

sides of the aisle, who voted for protecting the Medicaid safety net by a vote of 349-62. I am pleased the administration has joined us in the support of this effort.

The second amendment also includes critical disaster assistance in the wake of devastating tornadoes and floods, which all of us have seen on TV over the last few days, as well as funding to strengthen New Orleans' levees, as requested by the President, and housing vouchers for those left homeless by Hurricane Katrina.

I want to again commend Chairman Obey and Chairman Rangel. Chairman Rangel played a key role in getting us to this agreement, and I thank him for that.

I also again want to thank Minority Leader Boehner and Ranking Member Lewis for their leadership on this legislation.

Some will say this legislation is not perfect. To that extent, they can apply that to any piece of legislation that we consider, but this legislation is a good piece of legislation. It will provide for our troops in the field, while addressing critical priorities here at home. It will have my support, and I urge the support of this body for such amendment as they believe to be appropriate in the best interests of our country.

7:13 PM EDT

Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. I thank the chairman for yielding.

I want to thank the chairman. No one has worked harder to get us to this point in time in a bill that can be signed by the President and passed by the Senate. No one has worked harder than David Obey has on that objective, and he spent months at it. His staff has worked extraordinarily hard.

I also want to thank my counterpart, the minority leader Mr. Boehner who just spoke, and thank him for his efforts. This agreement would not have been reached without his leadership and his cooperation, and I appreciate that.

[Time: 19:15]

I also want to thank Mr. Lewis for his work on this effort as well.

Mr. Speaker, this supplemental appropriations legislation is the result, as has been said, of a bipartisan compromise that addresses critical needs of the American people.

Will every Member be happy with the substance of the two amendments that we are going to consider? The answer to that question is no.

Will every Member here get what he or she wants? Again, the answer is no. That is, after all, the legislative process.

However, our Nation is at war. We have 150,000 men and women in harm's way in Iraq and Afghanistan. Catastrophic floods continue to wreak havoc in Iowa and other States in the Midwest. And millions of our workers are struggling to make ends meet because they've lost their jobs through no fault of their own.

These two amendments that we will consider address these needs, as well as others.

The first amendment will provide funding for our troops on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan. Each Member will decide how they should vote, and their vote should not be questioned on that particular amendment.

It is also important to note that the second amendment includes important policy provisions regarding the war in Iraq.

First, it prohibits military construction funds from being used to establish permanent bases in Iraq. We have addressed that previously in this House and overwhelmingly supported that proposition.

Secondly, it requires reconstruction aid for Iraq to be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Iraqi Government. With the price of oil being what it is, having been told by the administration that the oil in Iraq would pay for all reconstruction, that is a reasonable and appropriate requirement.

Additionally, the second amendment includes major legislative items that the White House has agreed to accept. That is a good sign that there is an opportunity to work together when the interests of the American people are at stake. We don't always do that. The American public is concerned about that and disappointed by that. But this night, we have come to such an agreement, and the American public can be pleased by that.

Among other things, this amendment expands the education benefits that veterans receive under the GI Bill to restore the promise of a full, 4-year college education, and allowing servicemembers to transfer educational benefits to their spouses and dependents. That was a bipartisan agreement. It's something that we can be pleased about as a country. It's something that we do, in fact, owe our veterans, and we will redeem that promise this night.

Thus, this legislation supports our troops not only when they're abroad but when they return home as well.

We know from our experience with the original GI Bill that this legislation will foster an educated workforce and a vibrant economy. The greatest generation, after all, not only defeated fascism--Charlie Rangel, at a later time, fought for our country in the field--but they also came home, that greatest generation, and built the greatest economy the world has seen. This bill will help in many ways redeem the promise for this generation of men and women who are asked to defend our country

and its freedom. It is the right thing to do. We will do it this night. [Page: H5669]

The President initially indicated his opposition to an extension of unemployment insurance. But this second amendment includes a 13-week extension for workers in every State who have exhausted their benefits. Again, the right thing to do.

The administration also had placed a moratorium on seven Medicaid regulations, the result of which would cut services for seniors, families, and those with disabilities. The administration, after conversation with both sides, has decided and agreed to a moratorium on six of the seven regulations. That's good for the States, but more importantly, it's good for those whom these dollars will help in a time of trouble. This provision has overwhelmingly been supported in this House previously, both

sides of the aisle, who voted for protecting the Medicaid safety net by a vote of 349-62. I am pleased the administration has joined us in the support of this effort.

The second amendment also includes critical disaster assistance in the wake of devastating tornadoes and floods, which all of us have seen on TV over the last few days, as well as funding to strengthen New Orleans' levees, as requested by the President, and housing vouchers for those left homeless by Hurricane Katrina.

I want to again commend Chairman Obey and Chairman Rangel. Chairman Rangel played a key role in getting us to this agreement, and I thank him for that.

I also again want to thank Minority Leader Boehner and Ranking Member Lewis for their leadership on this legislation.

Some will say this legislation is not perfect. To that extent, they can apply that to any piece of legislation that we consider, but this legislation is a good piece of legislation. It will provide for our troops in the field, while addressing critical priorities here at home. It will have my support, and I urge the support of this body for such amendment as they believe to be appropriate in the best interests of our country.

7:20 PM EDT

Bill Young, R-FL 10th

Mr. YOUNG of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding the time, and I want to congratulate Chairman Obey and Mr. Lewis for having worked out what appeared on many occasions to be an impossible solution. They did a good job.

I compliment Mr. Murtha, the chairman of the Defense Appropriations Committee for a good job on amendment No. 1. It is not quite as much funding as we thought that there should have been, but we're okay with that. It's a good plan. We're going to vote for it. We're going to vote for the whole package. It just proves, Mr. Speaker, that when we finally settle down and decide to work for the country, we can do it. We can work together and we can make good things happen.

And so the last time we discussed this, I stood here and extended my support for the package, but it didn't pass. This time, I'm indicating my support for the package. At least most of us are going to vote for it, extending our thanks and our appreciation to those who are serving in our military in far-off places around the world--and as we talk so much about defending our freedoms--defending our safety, protecting the safety of the American people here, at home, and abroad.

So it's a good package. I support it strongly, and I compliment all of those who were involved in the negotiations to make this happen.

I thank the gentleman for yielding the time.

7:22 PM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. I yield 3 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from New York, the chairman of the Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Rangel. I want to thank Mr. Rangel for the work he did in conference.

(Mr. RANGEL asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

7:22 PM EDT

Charles B. Rangel, D-NY 15th

Mr. RANGEL. I want to thank Majority Leader Hoyer, the Speaker, certainly Chairman Obey, Mr. Lewis and my good friend, John Boehner, for inviting me to participate in just one part of this very complex problem that we have faced.

I just want to make it abundantly clear that what we were fighting for when we were talking about providing resources for those people that have lost their jobs was not a Democratic position or a Republican position, but it was a position that I'm glad that the minority leader understood, that affected not only the ability of Americans to put food on the table or to clothe their children or to pay their bills, but it really involved the dignity of the middle class.

And I will speak briefly to that, because Jim McDermott has the passion and truly understanding that we're not talking about being liberal or being conservative. That Statue of Liberty is up there for people all over the world, for centuries, for people to dream the American dream.

And what is it? It certainly isn't to be some type of tycoon that gets preferential tax treatment, and we know that it's not those people who are jobless and homeless. But it's those people that really think that they can have some dignity and pride in providing for their family, sending their kids to school, and maybe buying that first house.

When I heard that they were excluded from the stimulus package, because if you give these people money they might be inclined not to seek jobs, that struck me to the heart just as much as if someone snatched the flag and threw it in the street because it's these people that are the consumers. It's these people that dream for a better America. It's these people that everyone does and should aspire to be.

And for them to be ignored at a time when, through no fault of their own--and I stress that, through no fault of their own--find themselves without disposable income, find themselves losing the dignity in their communities and in their families, it would have just seemed to me that it would not have been a partisan issue, that we all should just come there and not to give a handout, since there's $35 billion that they paid into, but to be able to say, ``there but for the grace of God goes me.''

And so I want to thank John Boehner, because he never pushed that point in terms of we can't afford to do it. It was just a question of how much can and should we do.

7:26 PM EDT

Charles B. Rangel, D-NY 15th

Mr. RANGEL. I hope when we start looking at some other issues, and we're looking to see how we're going to jump-start this economy, that we recognize that it won't be the homeless and the hopeless that we'll be going to. They're not even in the system. It won't be the wealthy, that the President insists that we extend their tax cuts, because they wouldn't even know what the check came in for.

But it would be what makes this country so great, what fights our wars, what runs our jobs, what produces for [Page: H5670]

trade, and what makes it the greatest country in the whole world, and that is the middle class. And when they get into trouble, as they are now, I think this Congress should not have a political debate. We should be there to help them because they're what makes our country great.

So thank you for giving me the opportunity and thank you, John Boehner, for understanding what we were trying to do.

7:27 PM EDT

Jim McDermott, D-WA 7th

Mr. McDERMOTT. Mr. Speaker, as chairman of the Income Security and Family Support Subcommittee, I've spent the last 6 months fighting for passage of the emergency unemployment extension. The American people needed a helping hand back in January when I introduced the legislation, and they need it now more than ever.

Just the other day, my home State of Washington reported the largest 1-month increase in unemployment in 28 years. The unemployment rate spiked in just 1 month from 4.7 to 5.3 percent. We saw much the same happen at the national level.

Yet for all the evidence, all the objective data, we saw the White House order Senate Republicans to drag their feet until the President got his way. Last week, the House voted overwhelmingly to pass emergency unemployment on its own merits. We achieved a two-thirds vote in here, veto-proof. So what did the President do? He ordered the Senate Republicans to withhold help from the Americans until he could force Congress to cut out the extra help needed in badly hit States like Michigan, Alaska,

Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, California and the District of Columbia.

[Time: 19:30]

Today we're going to get the best that we can get from a lame duck President and the Senate Republicans.

John Mccain must have written off Michigan and California. But the American people have been hit hard by economic calamity, rooted in the disastrous policies of this administration, and they deserve better than this. When Americans can't find jobs because this President and Senate Republicans have tanked the economy, I submit the wrong people are standing in the unemployment line. And I trust the American people will remember in November who fought for them and who fought against them.

7:27 PM EDT

Jim McDermott, D-WA 7th

Mr. McDERMOTT. Mr. Speaker, as chairman of the Income Security and Family Support Subcommittee, I've spent the last 6 months fighting for passage of the emergency unemployment extension. The American people needed a helping hand back in January when I introduced the legislation, and they need it now more than ever.

Just the other day, my home State of Washington reported the largest 1-month increase in unemployment in 28 years. The unemployment rate spiked in just 1 month from 4.7 to 5.3 percent. We saw much the same happen at the national level.

Yet for all the evidence, all the objective data, we saw the White House order Senate Republicans to drag their feet until the President got his way. Last week, the House voted overwhelmingly to pass emergency unemployment on its own merits. We achieved a two-thirds vote in here, veto-proof. So what did the President do? He ordered the Senate Republicans to withhold help from the Americans until he could force Congress to cut out the extra help needed in badly hit States like Michigan, Alaska,

Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, California and the District of Columbia.

[Time: 19:30]

Today we're going to get the best that we can get from a lame duck President and the Senate Republicans.

John Mccain must have written off Michigan and California. But the American people have been hit hard by economic calamity, rooted in the disastrous policies of this administration, and they deserve better than this. When Americans can't find jobs because this President and Senate Republicans have tanked the economy, I submit the wrong people are standing in the unemployment line. And I trust the American people will remember in November who fought for them and who fought against them.

7:29 PM EDT

David R. Obey, D-WI 7th

Mr. OBEY. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 1 minute.

Let me simply take this opportunity to thank the staff, especially Rob Nabors, on our side of the aisle. And I want to especially also thank Mr. Murtha and Senator Inouye and Mr. Young for the work they did in fashioning amendment No. 1 that we have before us today.

I also want to thank Mr. Rangel, certainly Mr. Hoyer, and the Speaker for all of the work that they have done in bringing us to this point. And I also want to thank especially Mr. Boehner, who certainly has been integral to achieving this today. And also Mr. Lewis and Cantor, who have worked consistently on this, and I appreciate the work they did even through yesterday. And one more thank you to Senator Webb and to Representative Herseth

Sandlin in this House for leading the efforts to see that we did have an expanded GI Bill benefit for veterans, and also Senator Reid.

And now let me inquire, does the gentleman have any other speakers?

7:31 PM EDT

Nancy Pelosi, D-CA 8th

Ms. PELOSI. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman, for yielding.

I want to join my colleague, Mr. Obey, the distinguished chairman of the Appropriations Committee, in acknowledging the great work of Rob Nabors and all of the staff involved in putting this bill together today.

I want to join him in acknowledging the leadership of the distinguished minority leader, our majority leader, Mr. Hoyer, the chairman, Mr. Rangel, for his important work on unemployment insurance, Mr. McDermott, who just spoke, for his important work getting the bill ready. Mr. Lewis, to you and to Mr. Cantor and all involved in all this. Mr. Murtha, to you as well, and Mr. Skelton, to you as well.

We were able to come to this compromise because we were ready. As Mr. McDermott said, earlier in the year we had a bill ready for unemployment insurance. It wasn't going to be signed by the President. We had to put it off until another time. Two weeks ago tomorrow, the unemployment rate in our country shot up by half a point from approximately 5 to 5.5 percent. It sent a very stern message to the Congress of the United States and to the President that we must act.

Following that, on the floor last week, on two occasions, we had a very strong bipartisan vote in favor of unemployment insurance. So when Mr. Rangel went to the table to talk about compromise, it was clear that we had to reflect the will of the American people, and he was ready, he was ready with the legislation. And I'm pleased that Mr. Boehner was ready to accept that.

When we started talking about the final versions of this bill in the past couple of weeks, little did we know that the skies would open and rain would fall and the Midwest of our country would be deluged, and there would be a need to make some adjustment in this bill for disaster assistance to the Midwest and to replenish the FEMA fund to make up for funds spent now. We were ready. And I don't think there was any compromise on that subject; we all agreed that that had to be done.

I am particularly pleased that in the legislation there is a signal sent that this Congress cares about investments in science, it cares about the future, not as much as I would like, but nonetheless, I thank you, Mr. Chairman, for having that included. And I thank my colleagues for accepting that.

I want to join in all the commendations, again, to those who helped bring this compromise to the floor. I am very pleased that it has the GI Bill, finally. It became clear that this is what we had to do, what we owed our young people to say thank you to them by sending them to college. Mr. Chet Edwards has been a champion on this issue. I will come back to that in a moment.

But, Mr. Speaker, I'm sorry that I cannot fully participate in all of the comradery that is accompanying this legislation that we bring to the floor because of the huge amount of money that is in this bill to fund the war in Iraq without any conditions, without any limitation on time spent there. I'm glad that we have something about no permanent bases, yes, but this is the first time that we will be sending a bill--well, we sent it to the Senate with conditions and they struck it. We have no

choice. This is not about a failure of this House of Representatives; it's about what we cannot get past the next body and onto the President's desk.

Mr. Speaker, about a week ago, I spoke at the opening of the groundbreaking for the Institute of Peace. I know that you have been involved in that over the years. And I said that day, on a warm June day like today, it was reminiscent of one 45 years ago when President John F. Kennedy delivered the commencement address at American University.

In the last summer of a life that ended far too soon, President Kennedy spoke of the need to seek peace even in the midst of the Cold War. He said, ``The United States, as the world knows, will never start a war,'' Kennedy told the crowd assembled. ``We shall be prepared if others wish it, we shall be alert to try to stop it, but we shall also do our part to build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just.'' That was President Kennedy's philosophy of his foreign policy.

Contrary to that policy, President Bush started a war based on a false [Page: H5671]

premise. He sent our troops into a situation that he didn't know what he was getting into. The philosopher Hannah Arendt once said, she observed that nations are driven by the endless flywheel of violence, believing that one last, one final violent gesture will bring peace. But each time they sow the seeds for more violence.

Five years later, we are still engaged in the war in Iraq, 2 years longer than we were in World War II, and that has come at a very great cost. The costs are clear, of course, and we all mourn 4,100 of our troops who have lost their lives in battle, tens of thousands of our troops injured, thousands of them permanently. I met with some of them with my colleagues, Mr. Dicks, Mr. Inslee and Mr. McDermott, at the Seattle VA Hospital last Friday. And before that, Mr. Murtha

and I visited our troops in the hospital as well here in Washington, D.C.

Over Memorial Day, I visited our troops in Iraq with some of our colleagues. It was my sixth trip into the theater. And what they asked me is what they always ask: What's going to happen to us when we go home? And for a long time on those visits I didn't have an answer that I could be very, very pleased to tell them. But now, because of the leadership of Mr. Edwards, and others, we're able to say that when you come home, you will be met with the biggest increase in the Veterans Administration

health budget in the 77-year history of the Veterans Administration, and that means in the history of our country, an even bigger investment this year.

And after tonight, in a bipartisan way, we can proudly say--and Mr. Young, who has done more than you? You have just been wonderful, and I salute you as well. We can proudly say to our troops, to our young student veterans, that when they come home, we will say thank you by sending them to college; $7 for every dollar spent on the GI Bill following World War II. We owe these troops nothing else.

Now let's go back to the cost of that war. We talked about those who lost their lives, we talked about those who are permanently injured. And it's such a sad story. The cost to our reputation in the world is enormous. The cost in dollars, the Heritage Foundation said $2.75 trillion. The Heritage Foundation, that's their figure; nearly $3 trillion projected to be the cost of this war.

And so it's hard to understand when we say to the President, we would like to insure 10 million children in America, and he says we can't afford it, so I vetoed the bill. And the Republicans stuck with him on that veto--not all, many voted in a bipartisan way. Forty days in Iraq, 10 million children insured in America for 1 year. We can't afford it? $2.75 trillion, the cost of this war.

But what is worrisome--I know to Mr. Skelton, to Mr. Murtha, and I'm certain to Mr. Young, although he has not given me license to speak for him--is the cost of the military capability of our Nation, lives, limbs, reputation, dollars, opportunity costs at home. But this is about keeping the American people safe. That's what we take an oath of office to do, to provide for the common defense. And our ability to honor our oath of office to uphold the Constitution--in the

preamble it says ``to provide for the common defense''--is greatly diminished because this war has diminished the capability of American military forces to protect our interests wherever they are threatened in the world.

So let us think and hope that this is the last time that there will ever be another dollar spent without constraints, without conditions, without direction. Why should we trust the same judgment that got us here in the first place in this war?

So while I'm pleased that we have some spirit of civility here tonight about coming to a conclusion on this bill to bring it to the floor, and I enthusiastically will vote for the domestic piece of this, I'm not urging anyone to do anything, I just want you to know why I would be voting ``no'' on the spending without constraints.

We owe our troops more than sending them into war on a false premise, without the equipment and training they need, without a plan for success, without a strategy to leave. This war has not made the region more stable, it has not made our country safer. It has undermined our capability to protect the American people. It should come to an end safely, honorably, responsibly, and soon.

Mr. OBEY, Mr. Speaker, I submit the following:

Explanatory Statement Submitted by Mr. Obey, Chairman of the House Committee on Appropriations, Regarding the Further Amendment of the House of Representatives Relating to Supplemental Appropriations for Fiscal Years 2008 and 2009

Following is an explanation of the further amendment of the House of Representatives (relating to supplemental appropriations for fiscal years 2008 and 2009) to the Senate amendment numbered 2 to the House amendment numbered 2 to the Senate amendment to H.R. 2642, the Supplemental Appropriations Act, 2008.

In this statement, the provisions of the further House amendment are generally referred to as ``the amended bill''.

The further House amendment provides that, in lieu of the matter proposed to be inserted by the Senate, language be inserted providing supplemental appropriations for military construction, international affairs, disaster assistance, and other security-related and domestic needs, as well as language providing for accountability in contracting, improved veterans education benefits, temporary extended unemployment compensation, and a moratorium on certain Medicaid regulations. The amendment also

strikes lines 1 through 3 on page 60 of the Senate engrossed amendment of September 6, 2007.

The text of the amendment is printed in the Rules Committee report (H. Rpt. 110-720) to accompany House Resolution 1284.

Unless otherwise noted, all appropriations in the amendment are designated as emergency requirements and necessary to meet emergency needs pursuant to section 204(a) of S. Con. Res. 21 and section 301(b)(2) of S. Con. Res. 70, the congressional budget resolutions for fiscal years 2008 and 2009.

TITLE I--MILITARY CONSTRUCTION, VETERANS AFFAIRS, INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS, AND OTHER SECURITY-RELATED MATTERS

CHAPTER 1--AGRICULTURE

DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

FOREIGN AGRICULTURAL SERVICE

PUBLIC LAW 480 TITLE II GRANTS

The amended bill provides a total of $850,000,000 to remain available until expended for Public Law 480 Title II Grants for fiscal year 2008. The amended bill provides $350,000,000, as requested, for the urgent humanitarian needs identified by the administration. Further, the amended bill provides an additional $500,000,000 for unanticipated cost increases for food and transportation to be made available immediately.

In addition, because the need for urgent humanitarian food assistance and continuing volatility of food and transportation costs are expected to continue into fiscal year 2009, the amended bill provides a total of $395,000,000, as requested, to be made available beginning October 1, 2008.

CHAPTER 2--JUSTICE

DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL

The amended bill includes $4,000,000 for the Office of Inspector General. The Inspector General is directed to continue its audit and oversight activities of the Federal Bureau of Investigation's use of National Security Letters (NSLs) and orders for business records, pursuant to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act.

LEGAL ACTIVITIES

SALARIES AND EXPENSES, GENERAL LEGAL ACTIVITIES

The amended bill includes $1,648,000 for General Legal Activities for the Criminal Division to provide litigation support services to the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction for its ongoing investigations and cases involving corruption in the reconstruction of Iraq. The amended bill does not include funding requested to create Iraq and Afghanistan support units within General Legal Activities, Criminal Division. These worthy activities should be supported through funds made available

to the Departments of State or Defense.

SALARIES AND EXPENSES, UNITED STATES ATTORNEYS

The amended bill includes $5,000,000 for the U.S. Attorneys for extraordinary litigation expenses associated with terrorism prosecutions in the United States.

UNITED STATES MARSHALS SERVICE

SALARIES AND EXPENSES

The amended bill includes $28,621,000 for the U.S. Marshals Service. Within this funding level is $7,951,000 to provide security at high-threat terrorist trials in the United States and $3,700,000 to improve court and witness security in Afghanistan.

FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION

SALARIES AND EXPENSES

The amended bill provides $106,122,000 for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). This funding level includes $101,122,000 for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan and for enhanced counterterrorism activities and $5,000,000 to increase the FBI's capacity to investigate fraudulent contracts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The FBI is directed to provide the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations with a detailed plan for the obligation of these funds no later than 30 days [Page:

H5672]

after the enactment of this Act and to update this plan on a quarterly basis with actual obligations.

The amended bill also provides $82,600,000 in bridge funding for the FBI to maintain the operations described above into fiscal year 2009.

DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION

SALARIES AND EXPENSES

The amended bill includes $29,861,000 for the Drug Enforcement Administration to further its narco-terrorism initiative and Operation Breakthrough; to conduct financial investigations and to support intelligence activities, such as signals intelligence, to assist the Government of Afghanistan's counter-narcotics and narco-terrorism programs; and to purchase a helicopter for Foreign-deployed Advisory Support Team transportation.

BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES

SALARIES AND EXPENSES

The amended bill includes $4,000,000 for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives for necessary costs of operations in Iraq.

FEDERAL PRISON SYSTEM

SALARIES AND EXPENSES

The amended bill provides $9,100,000 for the Bureau of Prisons to monitor communications of incarcerated terrorists, collect intelligence, and disseminate relevant information to other Federal law enforcement agencies.

GENERAL PROVISION, THIS CHAPTER

The amended bill includes a provision authorizing the use of funds appropriated in this chapter, or available by the transfer of funds in this chapter, for activities pursuant to section 504 of the National Security Act of 1947.

CHAPTER 3--MILITARY CONSTRUCTION AND VETERANS AFFAIRS

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Iraq.--The Administration's request has been reviewed for military construction in Iraq to ensure that the recommended projects are consistent with contingency construction standards. The establishment of permanent bases in Iraq is not supported, and the amended bill does not include any funds to establish any such base, or convert any base in Iraq from a temporary to permanent status. The amended bill includes language prohibiting the obligation or expenditure of funds for Iraq construction

projects provided under Military Construction, Army, and Military Construction, Air Force, until the Secretary of Defense certifies that none of the funds are to be used for the purpose of providing facilities for permanent basing of U.S. military personnel in Iraq. The Secretary of Defense is further directed to provide to the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress,

no later than 30 days after enactment of this act, an updated Master Plan for U.S. basing in Iraq, including an inventory of installations that have been closed; those that are scheduled to close, and the timeline for their closure; and a finite list of potential enduring locations describing the mission, military construction requirements, and projected population of these locations.

Child Development Centers.--The amended bill recommends a total of $210,258,000 to design and build twenty new child development centers for the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force. The Department should be commended for following the lead of Congress by requesting funds for additional child development centers.

Army Barracks Improvements.--The deplorable conditions that have recently been uncovered in some permanent party Army barracks, including those which house soldiers returning from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, have raised numerous concerns about the adequacy of living conditions for military personnel. The Army created a permanent party barracks modernization program in 1994 to eliminate inadequate barracks. However, this program is not projected to be completely funded until 2013. Given

this timeline, it is unacceptable that the Army has allowed some of its existing permanent party barracks to fall into disrepair. While many of the repairs and upgrades to existing barracks can be accomplished with Sustainment, Restoration, and Modernization (SRM) funds, there is a need for additional military construction funds to expedite

barracks replacements. The amended bill includes a total of $200,000,000 for the Army to accelerate the construction of new barracks, or to provide major renovations to existing barracks. The funding is provided subject to the development of an expenditure plan to be submitted to the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress.

MILITARY CONSTRUCTION, ARMY

The amended bill recommends $1,108,200,000 for Military Construction, Army. The funds are provided as follows:

[Dollars in thousands] Location

Protect description

Request

Recommendation

AK: Fort Wainwright

Child Development Center \1\

17,000

17,000

CA: Fort Irwin

Child Development Center \1\

11,800

11,800

CO: Fort Carson

Child Development Center \1\

8,400

8,400

CO: Fort Carson

Soldier Family Assistance Center

8,100

8,100

GA: Fort Gordon

Child Development Center \1\

7,800

7,800

GA: Fort Stewart

Soldier Family Assistance Center

6,000

6,000

HI: Schofield Barracks

Child Development Center

12,500

12,500

KS: Fort Riley

Transitioning Warrior Support Complex

50,000

50,000

KY: Fort Campbell

Child Development Center \1\

9,900

9,900

KY: Fort Campbell

Soldier Family Assistance Center

7,400

7,400

KY: Fort

Knox Child Development Center

7,400

7,400

LA: Fort Polk

Soldier Family Assistance Center

4,900

4,900

MO: Fort Leonard Wood

Starbase Complex 6, Phase 1

50,000

NC: Fort Bragg

Child Development Center \1\

8,500

8,500

NY: Fort Drum

Warrior in Transition Facilities

38,000

38,000

OK: Fort Sill

Child Development Center \1\

9,000

9,000

TX: Fort Bliss

Child Development Center \1\

5,700

5,700

TX: Fort Bliss

Child Development Center \1\

5,900

5,900

TX: Fort Bliss

Child Development Center \1\

5,700

5,700

TX: Fort Hood

Child Development Center \1\

7,200

7,200

TX: Fort Hood

Warrior In Transition Unit Ops Facilities

9,100

9,100

TX: Fort Sam Houston

Child Development Center \1\

7,000

7,000

VA: Fort Lee

Child Development Center \1\

7,400

7,400

Afghanistan: Bagram AB

Administrative Building \1\

13,800

13,800

Afghanistan: Bagram AB

Aircraft Maintenance Hangar

5,100

5,100

Afghanistan: Bagram AB

Ammunition Supply Point

62,000

62,000

Afghanistan: Bagram AB

Bulk Fuel Storage and Supply, Phase 3

23,000

23,000

Afghanistan: Bagram AB

Bulk Fuel Storage and Supply, Phase 4

21,000

21,000

Afghanistan: Bagram AB

New Roads

27,000

27,000

Afghanistan: Bagram AB

Power Plant

41,000

41,000

Afghanistan: Ghazni

Rotary Wing Parking

5,000

5,000

Afghanistan: Kabul

Consolidated Compound

36,000

36,000

Afghanistan: Various Locations

Counter lED Road--Route Alaska

16,500

16,500

Afghanistan: Various Locations

Counter lED Road--Route Connecticut

54,000

54,000

Iraq: AI Asad AB

Hot Cargo Ramp

18,500

18,500

Iraq: AI Asad AB

Landfill

3,100

3,100

Iraq: AI Asad AB

Power Plant

40,000

Iraq: AI Asad AB

South Airfield Apron (India Ramp)

28,000

28,000

Iraq: AI Asad AB

Urban Bypass Road

43,000

Iraq: Baghdad IAP

Water Supply, Treatment & Storage Ph III

13,000

13,000

Iraq: Camp Adder

Convoy Support Center Relocation, Phase II

39,000

39,000

Iraq: Camp Adder

Multi-Class Storage Warehouse

17,000

Iraq: Camp Adder

POL Storage Area

10,000

10,000

Iraq: Camp Adder

Power Plant

39,000

Iraq: Camp Adder

Wastewater Treatment & Collection System

9,800

9,800

Iraq: Camp Anaconda

Hazardous Waste Incinerator

4,300

4,300

Iraq: Camp Anaconda

Landfill

6,200

6,200

Iraq: Camp Anaconda

Power Plant

39,000

Iraq: Camp Constitution

Juenile TIFRIC

11,700

11,700

Iraq: Camp Cropper

Brick Factory

9,500

Iraq: Camp Marez

Landfill

880

880

Iraq: Camp Ramadi

Landfill

880

880

Iraq: Camp Speicher

Aviation Navigation Facilities

13,400

13,400

Iraq: Camp Speicher

Landfill

5,900

5,900

Iraq: Camp Speicher

Military Control Point

5,800

5,800

Iraq: Camp speicher

Power Plant

39,000

Iraq: Camp Speicher

Rotary Wing Parking Apron

49,000

Iraq: Camp Taqqadum

Landfill

880

880 [Page: H5673]

Iraq: Camp Warrior

Landfill

880

880

Iraq: Fallujah

Landfill

880

880

Iraq: Mosul

Urban Bypass Road

43,000

Iraq: Qayyarah West

North Entry Control Point

11,400

11,400

Iraq: Qayyarah West

Perimeter Security Upgrade

14,600

14,600

Iraq: Qayyarah West

Power Plant

26,000

Iraq: Scania

Entry Control Point

5,000

5,000

Iraq: Scania

Water Storage Tanks

9,200

9,200

Iraq: Victory Base

Landfill

6,200

6,000

Iraq: Victory Base

Level 3 Hospital

13,400

13,400

Iraq: Victory Base

Wastewater Treatment & Collection System

9,800

9,800

Iraq: Victory Base

Water Treatment &. Storage Phase II

18,000

18,000

Iraq: Various Locations

Facilities Replacement

72,000

Iraq: Various Locations

Overhead Cover--eGlass

135,000

135,000

Kuwait: Camp Arifjan

Communication Center

30,000

30,000

Worldwide: Unspecified

Planning and Design (GWOT)

64,200

52,800

Worldwide: Unspecified

Planning and Design (WIT)

14,600

14,600

Worldwide: Unspecified

Planning and Design (COG) \1\

6,000

6,000

Total

1,486,100

1,108,200

\1\ Requested by the Department of Defense in fiscal year 2008 and/or the March 2008 Adjustments package.

MILITARY CONSTRUCTION, NAVY AND MARINE CORPS

The amended bill recommends $355,907,000 for Military Construction, Navy and Marine Corps. The funds are provided as follows:

[Dollars in thousands] Location

Project description

Request

Recommendation

CA: Camp Pendleton

11th Marine Regiment HQ, Armory, BEQ

34,970

34,970

CA: Camp Pendleton

5th Marine Regiment Addition, San Mateo

10,890

10,890

CA: Camp Pendleton

Armory Intelligence Battalion, 16 Area

4,180

4,180

CA: Camp Pendleton

Armory, Regiment & Battalion HQ, 53 Area

5,160

5,160

CA: Camp Pendleton

BEQ & Mess Hall HQ (13) Area

24,390

24,390

CA: Camp Pendleton

EOD Operations Facility

13,090

13,090

CA: Camp Pendleton

ISR Camp--Intelligence Battalion

1,114

1,114

CA: Camp Pendleton

JIEDDO Battle Courses \1\

9,270

9,270

CA: Camp Pendleton

Military Police Company Facilities

8,240

8,240

CA: Twentynine Palms

Regimental Combat Team HQ Facility

4,440

4,440

CA: China Lake NAWS

JIEDDO Battle Courses \1\

7,210

7,210

CA: Point Mugu

JIEDDO Battle Courses \1\

7,250

7,250

CA: San Diego

Child Development Center \1\

17,930

17,930

CA: Twentynine Palms

JIEDDO Battle Courses \1\

11,250

11,250

FL: Whiting Field NAS

JIEDDO Battle Courses \1\

780

780

MS: Gulfport NCBC

JIEDDO Battle Courses \1\

6,570

6,570

NC: Camp Lejeune

Child Development Center \1\

16,000

16,000

NC: Camp Lejeune

JIEDDO Battle Courses \1\

11,980

11,980

NC: Camp Lejeune

Maintenance/Operations Complex 2/9.

43,340

43,340

SC: Parris Island MCRD

Recruit Barracks

25,360

VA: Yorktown NWS

JIEDDO Battle Courses \1\

8,070

8,070

Djibouti: Camp Lemonier

CJTF-HOA HQ Facility

29,710

Djibouti: Camp Lemonier

Dining Facility

20,780

20,780

Djibouti: Camp Lemonier

Fuel Farm \1\

4,000

4,000

Djibouti: Camp Lemonier

Full Length Taxiway \1\

15,490

15,490

Djibouti: Camp Lemonier

Network Infrastructure Expansion

6,270

6,270

Djibouti: Camp Lemonier

Water Production

19,140

19,140

Djibouti: Camp Lemonier

Western Taxiway \1\

2,900

2,900

Worldwide: Unspecified

Planning and Design (GTF)

7,491

7,491

Worldwide: Unspecified

Planning and Design (GWOT)

4,300

4,300

Worldwide: Unspecified

Planning and Design (CDC) \1\

1,101

1,101

Worldwide: Unspecified

Planning and Design (JIEDDO) \1\

2,951

2,951

Total

360,257

355,907

\1\ Requested by the Department of Defense in fiscal year 2008 and/or the March 2008 Adjustments package.

Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) Battle Courses.--The amended bill recommends $65,331,000 to construct facilities for enhanced counter-improvised explosive device training in furtherance of the goals of the Joint IED Defeat Organization. These funds address a technical correction in the Administration's fiscal year 2008 Global War on Terror budget request and are offset by a rescission in title IX.

MILITARY CONSTRUCTION, AIR FORCE

The amended bill recommends $399,627,000 for Military Construction, Air Force. The funds are provided as follows:

[Dollars in thousands] Location

Project description

Request

Recommendation

CA: Beale AFB

Child Development Center \1\

17,600

17,600

FL: Eglin AFB

Child Development Center \1\

11,000

11,000

NJ: McGuire AFB

JIEDDO Battle Courses \1\

6,200

6,200

NM: Cannon AFB

Child Development Center \1\

8,000

8,000

Afghanistan: Bagram AB

East Side Helo Ramp

44,400

44,400

Afghanistan: Bagram AB

ISR Ramp.

26,300

26,300

Afghanistan: Bagram AB

Parallel Taxiway Phase 2

21,400

21,400

Afghanistan: Bagram AB

Strategic Ramp

43,000

43,000

Iraq: Balad AB

Fighter Ramp

11,000

11,000

Iraq: Balad AB

Foxtrot Taxiway

12,700

12,700

Iraq: Balad AB

Helicopter Maintenance Facilities.

34,600

34,600

Kyrgyzstan: Manas AB

Strategic Ramp

30,300

30,300

Oman: Masirah AB

Expeditionary Beddown Site

6,300

6,300

Qatar: AI Udeid AB

Facility Replacements

40,000

30,000

Qatar: AI Udeid AB

Northwest (CAS) Ramp \1\

60,400

60,400

Worldwide: Unspecified

Planning and Design (GWOT)

35,000

35,000

Worldwide: Unspecified

Planning and Design (CDC) \1\

1,427

1,427

Total

409,627

399,627

\1\ Requested by the Department of Defense in fiscal year 2008 and/or the March 2008 Adjustments package.

Joint IED Defeat Organization (JIEDDO) Battle Courses.--The amended bill recommends $6,200,000 to construct facilities for enhanced counter-improvised explosive device training in furtherance of the goals of the Joint IED Defeat Organization. These [Page: H5674]

funds address a technical correction in the Administration's fiscal year 2008 Global War on Terror budget request and are offset by a rescission in title IX.

MILITARY CONSTRUCTION, DEFENSE-WIDE

The amended bill recommends $890,921,000 for Military Construction, Defense-Wide. The funds are provided as follows:

[Dollars in thousands] Location

Project description

Request

Recommendation

GA: Fort Benning

Hospital Replacement

350,000

KS: Fort Riley

Hospital Replacement

404,000

NC: Camp Lejeune

Hospital Addition

64,300

TX: Fort Sam Houston

Burn Rehabilitation Center

21,000

21,000

Qatar: AI Udeid AB

Logistics Storage Warehouse

6,600

6,600

Worldwide: Unspecified

Planning and Design (MTF)

45,021

Total

27,600

890,921

Medical Treatment Facilities Construction.--There is a great concern with the large backlog of needed recapitalization for medical treatment facilities for military service members and their families. The current Future Years Defense Plan (FYDP) for Tricare Management Activity military construction averages $412,000,000 per year for fiscal years 2009 through 2013, and much of this amount is accounted for by medical research facilities. With the services identifying recapitalization requirements

ranging in the several billions of dollars, the current FYDP for medical construction is obviously and severely insufficient. The Department's inventory of medical treatment facilities is riddled with aging hospitals, clinics, and other facilities that do not meet current standards for medical care. Adding to this problem is the fact that several installations are adding thousands of personnel and dependents due to Base Realignment and Closure, the

relocation of units from Europe and Korea to the United States, and the Growing the Force initiative that will add 92,000 active duty personnel to the Army and Marine Corps. The amended bill therefore recommends $863,321,000 for additional medical treatment facility construction. These funds will provide for the Army's top two priority hospital replacement projects in the United States as well as a top priority hospital addition for the Marine Corps.

The Department of Defense is also directed to develop a comprehensive master plan for medical treatment facilities construction, to include both recapitalization and new requirements. This plan shall include a comprehensive priority list of projects for all services, provide a cost estimate for each project, supply data on the current state of facilities and the projected change in demand for services due to growth for each location on the list, indicate the extent to which identified construction

requirements are programmed in the FYDP, and indicate the resources required for associated planning and design work. This report shall be submitted to the Committees on Appropriations of both Houses of Congress no later than December 31, 2008.

Family Housing Construction, Navy and Marine Corps

The amended bill recommends $11,766,000 for Family Housing Construction, Navy and Marine Corps. The funds are provided as follows:

[Dollars in thousands] Location

Project description

Request

Recommendation

CA: Camp Pendleton

Public-Private Venture, Phase 6B

10,692

10,692

CA: Twentynine Palms

Public-Private Venture, Phase 2A

1,074

1,074

Total

11,766

11,766

Department of Defense Base Closure Account 2005

The amended bill recommends $1,278,886,000 for Department of Defense Base Closure Account 2005 instead of $1,202,886,000 as requested by the Administration. The amount provided fully funds the Administration's request to expedite medical facility construction at Bethesda and Fort Belvoir, and provides an additional $862,976,000 for BRAC 2005 implementation.

DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

Departmental Administration

GENERAL OPERATING EXPENSES

The amended bill recommends $100,000,000 for General Operating Expenses to implement the provisions of title V of this Act.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS

The amended bill recommends $20,000,000 for Information Technology Systems to implement the provisions of title V of this Act, including support for any personnel increases within the Veterans Benefits Administration.

CONSTRUCTION, MAJOR PROJECTS

The amended bill recommends $396,377,000 for Construction, Major Projects to accelerate and complete planned major construction of Level I polytrauma rehabilitation centers as identified in the Department of Veterans Affairs' Five Year Capital Plan.

Polytrauma Center Initiative.--The nature of combat in Iraq and Afghanistan has resulted in new patterns of polytraumatic injuries and disabilities requiring specialized intensive rehabilitation and high coordination of care. Operating under a national Memorandum of Agreement with the Department of Defense (DOD), the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) polytrauma rehabilitation centers continue to provide treatment and care to severely injured combat personnel requiring polytrauma inpatient rehabilitation.

The medical care the VA is providing to military personnel is exceptional. However, space in the existing polytrauma facilities is dated, with cramped quarters and treatment facilities scattered throughout hospital campuses. These inefficiencies prove to be difficult for patients with mobility issues, compromised immune systems, and those suffering from

psychological wounds. In an effort to accelerate the VA's planned expansion and consolidation of polytrauma rehabilitation centers on existing hospital campuses as outlined in the Department's February 2008 Five Year Capital Plan, the amended bill recommends providing $396,377,000 to fully fund the design and construction of these crucial projects.

GENERAL PROVISIONS, THIS CHAPTER

The amended bill includes the following general provisions for this chapter:

Section 1301 provides an additional appropriation for Military Construction, Army for the acceleration of barracks improvements at Army installations.

Section 1302 relates to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.

Section 1303 relates to the collection of certain debts owed to the Department of Veterans Affairs by service members killed in a combat zone.

CHAPTER 4--DEPARTMENT OF STATE AND FOREIGN OPERATIONS

SUBCHAPTER A--SUPPLEMENTAL APPROPRIATIONS FOR FISCAL YEAR 2008

Introduction

The budget request totals $5,073,608,000 in emergency supplemental funds for fiscal year 2008, and the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110-161) provided $1,473,800,000 for immediate requirements. The amended bill provides for Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs a total of $5,164,108,000, which is $90,500,000 above the pending budget request.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE

Administration of Foreign Affairs

DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR PROGRAMS

The budget request included $2,283,008,000 for Diplomatic and Consular Programs, of which $575,000,000 was appropriated in the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110-161) for operations and security at the United States Embassy in Iraq.

The amended bill includes an additional $1,465,700,000 for Diplomatic and Consular Programs, which is $242,308,000 below the pending request. Within the amount provided, $210,400,000 is for worldwide security protection. Funds for diplomatic and consular programs are to be allocated as follows: [Page: H5675]

DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR PROGRAMS ($ in thousands) Activity

Pending request

Amended bill

Change from request

Iraq Diplomatic Operations

1,545,608

1,150,000

-395,608

Afghanistan--Operations and Worldwide Security Protection

162,400

200,200

37,800

Pakistan--Operations

0

7,500

7,500

Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative

0

1,000

1,000

Worldwide Security Protection

0

48,000

48,000

Civilian Workforce Initiative

0

55,000

55,000

Public Diplomacy

0

4,000

4,000

Total, Diplomatic and Consular Programs

1,708,008

1,465,700

-242,308

Afghanistan.--Within the total, the amended bill includes $200,200,000, which is $37,800,000 above the request, for necessary expenses for diplomatic and security operations in Afghanistan. Of this amount, $162,400,000 is for enhanced security operations, including additional high threat protection teams, increased overhead cover and physical security measures, replacement of armored vehicles, and local guard service. In addition, $19,000,000 is for the establishment of a Department of State-managed

air transport capability in Afghanistan for Department of State and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) personnel to manage country programs, provide support for medical evacuation, and other security-related operations. Finally, $18,800,000 is for support of operations and personnel for Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan.

Iraq.--Within the total, $1,150,000,000 is for the diplomatic and security operations of the United States Mission in Iraq, which is $395,608,000 below the pending request. The cost of operations of the United States Mission in Iraq totals $2,141,000,000 for fiscal year 2008, including $1,150,000,000 provided in this Act, $575,000,000 provided as bridge funding in Public Law 110-161 and $416,000,000 in funds carried over from prior year appropriations. Nearly $900,000,000 is requested for supporting

security requirements for diplomatic and development personnel in Iraq.

The amended bill includes funding for mission operations, security, logistics support, information technology, and operations of PRTs. Congress has provided an additional $196,543,000 since fiscal year 2006 for follow-on facilities requirements identified by the Department of State, as follows: extend the perimeter wall; construct a dining facility; construct additional housing; construct a tactical operations center for Diplomatic Security; construct a static guard camp; and construct overhead

cover. The actual cost of building the New Embassy Compound (NEC) has reached a total of $788,543,000 to date.

The number of permanent and temporary personnel assigned to Iraq, with the exception of USAID, should be decreased to accommodate all personnel within the NEC and any improvements can be made with previously appropriated funds. USAID will play a critical role in assisting the Government of Iraq in effectively allocating its budgetary resources.

The additional $43,804,000 requested for follow-on projects for the NEC in Baghdad is not included. At least $77,027,000 in prior year funding programmed for follow-on projects is available for obligation and these funds should be used to provide additional secure housing for a smaller number of personnel.

None of the funds provided under this heading in this Act shall be made available for follow-on projects, other than the proposed funding for overhead cover. The Department of State should include a detailed plan for the use of funds for follow-on projects as part of the spending plan required by this Act.

Due to an extended accreditation and verification process and the addition of follow-on projects, occupancy of the NEC offices and housing has been delayed. This rigorous process to address and validate whether the NEC was constructed to code and contract

specifications was supported. Now that the process is complete, occupancy of the offices and housing should proceed without delay in order to provide the maximum protection to United States personnel.

The rationale for co-location of the Departments of State and Defense in the NEC is recognized. However, the proposed New Office Building and the Interim Office Building reconfigurations are projected to delay occupancy of NEC offices by up to one year. Given the difficult security environment in Baghdad, this lengthy delay is not acceptable. The Departments of State and Defense are expected to consult with the Committees on Appropriations on options for moving forward with limited co-location

plans in the most accelerated, secure, and cost-effective manner. Any future construction in Iraq shall be subject to the Capital Security Cost Sharing Program, in the same manner as all other embassy construction projects worldwide.

There is a concern that private security contractors have been utilized without the necessary authority, oversight, or accountability. The Department of State is directed to provide a report to the Committees on Appropriations not later than 45 days after enactment of this Act on the implementation status of each of the recommendations of the October 2007 report of the Secretary of State's Panel on Personal Protective Services. The Department of State is encouraged to aggressively review security

procedures and seek the necessary authority to ensure that increased security is achieved with effective oversight and accountability.

The Secretary of State should take appropriate steps to ensure that assistance for Iraq is not provided to or through any individual, private entity or educational institution that the Secretary knows or has reason to believe advocates, plans, sponsors, or engages in, terrorist activities.

Pakistan.--The amended bill includes $7,500,000 for operations, security, and personnel engaged in diplomatic activities to promote economic and political development in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Pakistan and Afghanistan border.

Sudan.--The amended bill includes resources to support the diplomatic mission in Sudan including the United States Special Envoy for Sudan.

Buying Power Maintenance Account.--The amended bill provides authority to transfer funds available in this Act, and in a prior Act, to the Buying Power Maintenance Account in accordance with section 24 of the State Department Basic Authorities Act, to manage exchange rate losses in fiscal year 2008.

Civilian Workforce Initiative.--The amended bill provides $55,000,000 to increase the civilian diplomatic capacity of the Department of State to meet the increasing and complex demands of diplomacy in the 21st century. Within the total, $30,000,000 is for the initial development and deployment of a civilian capacity to respond to post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction challenges and $25,000,000 is to strengthen capabilities of the United States diplomatic corps and promote broader engagement

with the rest of the world, including expanding training and enhanced interagency collaboration.

The amended bill includes funds to replace Foreign Service positions worldwide, which were previously moved to Iraq and to increase the number of positions participating in critical needs foreign language training. The Department of State has transferred approximately 300 Foreign Service positions from embassies around the world to Iraq and to associated language training, leaving key posts understaffed. These funds are to be used to support United States foreign policy in priority, understaffed

regions, particularly South and East Asia, the Western Hemisphere, and Africa.

Funds made available for the civilian stabilization initiative are for the Active and Standby Response Corps portion of the initiative and to enhance operations of the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization. In addition to the funds provided to the Department of State, $25,000,000 is appropriated in this Act under the heading ``Operating Expenses of the United States Agency for International Development'' to implement the USAID portion of the civilian stabilization initiative.

The funding request for the Civilian Response Corps will be considered as part of the fiscal year 2009 appropriations process and none of the funds provided in this Act are to be used to implement the Civilian Response Corps portion of the initiative.

Diplomatic Security-Worldwide Security Protection.--The amended bill also includes $48,000,000 above the request for worldwide security protection. The amount provided is available to restore 100 positions in the diplomatic security personnel that were redirected to Iraq to address urgent security requirements for United States personnel elsewhere in the world.

Directorate of Defense Trade Controls.--Increased demands on the Directorate of Defense Trade Controls' Office of Defense Trade Controls Licensing have led to delays in license processing. The Secretary of State is directed to review the workload demands and staffing needs of the office and report any recommendations to the Committees on Appropriations not later than 45 days after enactment of this Act.

Middle East Peace Process.--The security and support requirements for the personnel and operations that accompany the Middle East peace process have been, and should continue to be, supported through the operations funds available in fiscal year 2008. Any additional requirements associated with these activities will be considered during the fiscal year 2009 appropriations process.

Public Diplomacy.--The amended bill includes $4,000,000 for the Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs to expand new media for targeted Arabic language television programs for the purpose of fostering cultural, educational, and professional dialogues through indigenous Arabic language satellite media. [Page: H5676]

Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.--The amended bill recommends not less than $1,000,000 to expand public outreach efforts related to implementation of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI). With WHTI implementation occurring as early as June 2009, there is concern about the lack of a comprehensive, coordinated plan between the Department of State, the Department of Homeland Security, and the United States Postal Service to broadly disseminate information to the traveling public

concerning the final WHTI implementation requirements at the Nation's land and sea ports. The Department of State is encouraged to provide significantly increased outreach to border communities, including through radio, print media, and additional passport fairs.

OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL

(INCLUDING TRANSFER OF FUNDS)

The amended bill includes an additional $9,500,000 for Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the Department of State, which is $9,500,000 above the pending request. Of the total, $5,000,000 is to enhance the Department of State Inspector General's oversight of programs in Iraq and Afghanistan, $2,500,000 is for operations of the Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR), and $2,000,000 is for operations of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).

The Department of State OIG, USAID OIG, SIGIR, and SIGAR each have independent oversight responsibilities in Iraq and Afghanistan. The inspectors general should, to the maximum extent practicable, coordinate, and de-conflict all activities related to oversight of assistance programs for the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan to ensure that oversight resources are used effectively and are not unnecessarily duplicative.

To ensure continuity of oversight of permanent United States Missions, the USAID OIG and the Department of State OIG are expected to actively participate in oversight of all programs funded by this Act and prior Acts making appropriations for the Department of State and foreign operations, in particular oversight of diplomatic and development operations and facilities. Joint oversight with SIGIR or SIGAR is strongly encouraged; however once fully staffed, the Department of State OIG or the USAID

OIG should, to the maximum extent practicable, be designated as the lead for any joint oversight conducted with SIGIR or SIGAR of funds involving diplomatic operations and facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

EMBASSY SECURITY, CONSTRUCTION, AND MAINTENANCE

The amended bill includes an additional $76,700,000 for urgent embassy security, construction, and maintenance costs, which is $83,300,000 below the request. The funds are to construct 300 secure apartments and a secure office building, including the necessary perimeter security, utility, and dining facilities, for United States Mission staff in Afghanistan. Currently, there are a small number of permanent construction apartments and the majority of diplomatic and Mission personnel live in structures

with limited protection. Additional funds for this purpose are provided in subchapter B.

International Organizations

CONTRIBUTIONS TO INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

The amended bill includes $66,000,000 for Contributions to International Organizations, which is for United States contributions to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq. Funding is also provided to meet

fiscal year 2008 assessed dues to organizations whose missions are critical to protecting United States national security interests, including the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons.

The Department of State is directed not later than 45 days after enactment of this Act, to provide a report to the Committees on Appropriations detailing total United States-assessed contributions, any arrears from prior years and potential arrears for fiscal years 2008 and 2009 for each of the organizations funded under this heading.

CONTRIBUTIONS FOR INTERNATIONAL PEACEKEEPING ACTIVITIES

The budget request included $723,600,000 for Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities, of which $390,000,000 of funds designated as an emergency was provided in the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110-161) for the United States contribution to the United Nations/African Union (UN/AU) hybrid peacekeeping mission to Darfur (UNAMID).

The amended bill includes an additional $373,708,000 for assessed costs to UN peacekeeping operations. Within the total under this heading, not less than $333,600,000 is provided for UNAMID, which is the same as the request. Additionally, the amended bill includes $40,108,000 to meet unmet fiscal year 2008 assessed dues for the international peacekeeping missions to countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Haiti, Liberia, and Sudan.

RELATED AGENCY

Broadcasting Board of Governors

INTERNATIONAL BROADCASTING OPERATIONS

The amended bill includes an additional $2,000,000 for International Broadcasting Operations to continue increased broadcasting to Tibet.

BILATERAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE

Funds Appropriated to the President

INTERNATIONAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE

The budget request included $80,000,000 for International Disaster Assistance. The Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110-161) provided $110,000,000 for emergency humanitarian requirements.

The amended bill includes $220,000,000 for International Disaster Assistance, which is $220,000,000 above the pending request. These funds should be used to respond to urgent humanitarian requirements worldwide, including in Burma, Bangladesh, the People's Republic of China, and countries severely affected by the international food crisis.

USAID is directed to substantially increase food assistance for Haiti to address critical food shortages and malnutrition. Preventing hunger and combating poverty in Haiti should be a USAID priority.

As the State Peace and Development Council (SPDC) has compounded the humanitarian crisis in Burma by failing to respond to the needs of the Burmese people in the wake of Cyclone Nargis and by refusing offers of assistance from the international community, the Department of State and USAID should seek to avoid providing assistance to or through the SPDC.

The amended bill also includes funds under this heading and the heading ``Development Assistance'' in subchapter B to help address the international food crisis. Programs should address both rural and urban food requirements.

OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

The budget request included $61,800,000 for Operating Expenses of the United States Agency for International Development, of which $20,800,000 was provided in the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110-161) for operations in Iraq.

The amended bill includes $150,500,000 for Operating Expenses of the United States Agency for International Development.

Of the funds provided under this heading, the amended bill includes $41,000,000 to continue support for security needs in Iraq and Afghanistan, which is the same as the request. In addition, $30,000,000 is included to increase support for staffing, security, and operating needs in Afghanistan and Sudan, and $19,500,000 in Pakistan.

The amended bill also includes $25,000,000 to support the development and deployment of a civilian capacity to respond to post-conflict stabilization and reconstruction needs. Funds made available for the civilian stabilization initiative are for the Active and Standby Response Corps portion of the initiative and none of the funds provided in this Act may be used to develop the Civilian Response Corps. Additional funding for this initiative is provided in the ``Diplomatic and Consular Programs''

account for the Department of State portion of the initiative.

In addition, the amended bill includes $35,000,000 to enable USAID to hire above attrition in fiscal year 2008. The Administration's request for fiscal year 2009 includes $92,000,000 for hiring 300 USAID foreign service officers as part of a three-year initiative. Funding provided in this Act is intended to support the hiring of additional Foreign Service officers in fiscal year 2008 in order to begin rebuilding the capacity of the Agency to carry out its mission. USAID is directed to consult

with the Committees on Appropriations on the use of these funds and to recruit mid-career personnel. As USAID seeks to strengthen its workforce, USAID is encouraged to consult with the Department of Defense on ways to benefit from the experience of retiring officers, including establishment of a transition program.

OPERATING EXPENSES OF THE UNITED STATES AGENCY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL

The amended bill includes an additional $4,000,000 for the United States Agency for International Development Office of Inspector General to support increased oversight of programs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

OTHER BILATERAL ECONOMIC ASSISTANCE

ECONOMIC SUPPORT FUND

The budget request included $2,217,000,000 for Economic Support Fund (ESF), of which $208,000,000 was provided in the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2008 (Public Law 110-161) for emergency requirements in the West Bank and in North Korea, as requested.

The amended bill includes $1,882,500,000 for ESF, which is $126,500,000 below the request. An additional $75,000,000 is provided under the heading Democracy Fund for political development programs for Iraq. Funds are to be allocated as follows:

ECONOMIC SUPPORT FUND($ in thousands)Country and region

Amended bill

Afghanistan

859,000

Bangladesh

25,000

Central America

25,000

Central African Republic

1,000

Chad

2,000

Democratic Republic of the Congo

12,500

Iraq

424,000

Jordan

175,000

Kenya

12,000 [Page: H5677]

Mexico

20,000

Nepal

7,000

North Korea

53,000

Philippines

15,000

Sri Lanka

6,000

Sudan

45,000

Thailand

2,500

Uganda

17,500

West Bank and Gaza

171,000

Zimbabwe

5,000

Exchanges Africa

5,000

Total

1,882,500

Iraq.--The amended bill includes $424,000,000 for Iraq, which is $373,000,000 below the request. The sums provided enable the Department of State and USAID to continue programs in Iraq through the end of fiscal year 2008 and into the first two quarters of fiscal year 2009. After providing more than $45,000,000,000 to help rebuild Iraq, the United States should reduce bilateral assistance levels and reduce the number of Department of State personnel involved in the reconstruction effort who are

located in Iraq. Funds provided for Iraq are to be allocated as follows:

IRAQ PROGRAMS($ in thousands)Activity

Pending request

Amended bill

Change from request

Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs)

165,000

139,000

-26,000

Provincial Reconstruction Development Councils

100,000

85,000

-15,000

Local Governance Program

65,000

54,000

-11,000

Community Stabilization Program (CSP)

155,000

100,000

-55,000

Community Action Program (CAP)

0

75,000

75,000

Infrastructure Security Protection for Oil, Water and Electricity

70,000

0

-70,000

Operations and Maintenance of Key USG-Funded Infrastructure

134,000

10,000

-124,000

Iraqi-American Enterprise Fund

25,000

0

-25,000

Provincial Economic Growth (including Agriculture and Microfinance)

0

25,000

25,000

National Capacity Development

248,000

70,000

-178,000

Marla Fund

0

5,000

5,000

Total

797,000

424,000

-373,000

Community Action Program (CAP).--The amended bill includes $75,000,000 for continued support for the Community Action Program.

Community Stabilization Program (CSP).--The amended bill includes $100,000,000 for the CSP, which is $55,000,000 below the request. Recent findings of a March 18, 2008 USAID Inspector General audit (E-267-08-001-P) of possible fraud and misuse of some CSP funds are of concern. Therefore the amended bill withholds 50 percent of

funding until the Secretary of State certifies and reports that USAID is implementing recommendations contained in the audit to ensure proper use of funds.

Enterprise Fund.--The amended bill does not include any funding for the creation, capitalization, operation, or support of any enterprise fund in Iraq. The Department of State is directed not to reprogram any funds made available by this or prior Acts for an enterprise or enterprise-related fund in Iraq.

Infrastructure Security Protection for Oil, Water, and Electricity.--The amended bill does not include funding for these functions, which should be supported by the Government of Iraq.

Marla Ruzicka Iraqi War Victims Fund.--The amended bill includes $5,000,000 for the Marla Ruzicka Iraqi War Victims Fund for continued assistance for Iraqi civilians who suffer losses as a result of the military operations.

National Capacity Development (NCD).--Within the amount provided in ESF for Iraq, $70,000,000 is provided for NCD, which is $178,000,000 below the request. The Government of Iraq should assume increasing responsibility for the cost of these activities.

Operations and Maintenance of Key U.S. Government-Funded Infrastructure.--The amended bill includes $10,000,000 for operations and maintenance of key United States government-funded infrastructure, which is $124,000,000 below the request. These functions should be funded by the Government of Iraq and this Act includes sufficient funding to allow the United States to provide technical assistance and training. In addition, the amended bill conditions the funds on the signing and implementation

of an asset transfer agreement between the United States and Iraq.

Provincial Economic Growth.--The amended bill includes $25,000,000 for provincial economic growth activities.

Vulnerable Groups.--Up to $10,000,000 of funds made available for Iraq in this chapter, including from the Migration and Refugee Assistance and International Disaster Assistance accounts, should be made available for programs to assist vulnerable Iraqi religious and ethnic minority groups, including Christians. The Secretary of State should designate staff at United States Embassy Baghdad to oversee and coordinate such assistance.

Afghanistan.--The amended bill includes $859,000,000 in ESF for Afghanistan, which is $25,000,000 above the request. USAID is directed to review its reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan; focus its assistance, including capacity building, through local Afghan entities; give greater attention to accountability and monitoring to minimize corruption; and emphasize programs which directly improve the economic, social, and political status of Afghan women and girls. Funds provided for Afghanistan

are to be allocated as follows:

AFGHANISTAN PROGRAMS ($ in thousands)Activity

Pending request

Amended bill

Change from request

Civilian Assistance Program

0

10,000

+10,000

Governance and Capacity Building

135,000

165,000

+30,000

2009 Elections

100,000

70,000

-30,000

National Solidarity Program

40,000

65,000

+25,000

Health and Education

50,000

75,000

+25,000

North Atlantic Treaty Organization POHRF

0

2,000

+2,000

Power

175,000

150,000

-25,000

Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs)/Provincial Governance

0

50,000

+50,000

Roads

329,000

200,000

-129,000

Rural Development/Alternative Livelihoods

0

65,000

+65,000

Trade and Investment

5,000

7,000

+2,000

Total

834,000

859,000

25,000

Civilian Assistance.--The amended bill includes $10,000,000 for USAID's Afghan Civilian Assistance Program to continue assistance for civilians who have suffered losses as a result of the military operations, and $2,000,000 for the NATO/ISAF Post-Operations Humanitarian Relief Fund.

Governance and Capacity Building.--The amended bill provides $165,000,000 for governance and capacity building programs, which is $30,000,000 above the request, to fund rule of law, human rights, and local and national capacity building.

National Solidarity Program.--The amended bill includes $65,000,000 for the National Solidarity Program to support small-scale development initiatives. The funding shall be programmed in a manner consistent with the Afghan National Development Strategy.

Power.--The amended bill includes $150,000,000 for power, which is $25,000,000 below the request. The request includes funding for gas and diesel power projects and there is a concern that diesel generators are costly to maintain and will exacerbate Kabul's already heavily polluted air. The completion of the north-south transmission line to enable Afghanistan to purchase electricity from its northern neighbors for distribution to other areas of the country is supported. Funding for the Northern

Electrical Power System or the Shebergan Gas- [Page: H5678]

Fired Plant is not included. The World Bank should play a larger role in financing such infrastructure projects.

It is noted that Afghanistan has considerable potential for small hydro and solar power development to service Afghanistan's many remote communities that have no other access to electricity, and not less than $15,000,000 of the funds shall be used for renewable energy projects in rural areas.

Provincial Reconstruction Teams.--The amended bill provides $50,000,000 for PRTs in Afghanistan.

Roads.--The amended bill includes $200,000,000 for roads, which is $129,000,000 below the request.

Rural Development and Alternative Livelihoods.--The amended bill includes $65,000,000 for rural development and alternative livelihood programs and an additional $35,000,000 for counternarcotics under the ``International Narcotics Control and Law Enforcement'' account to expand counternarcotics programs in Afghanistan. The Secretary of State is directed to consult with the Committees on Appropriations on the use of these funds.

2009 Elections.--The amended bill includes $70,000,000 for preparations for the 2009 elections.

Bangladesh.--The amended bill includes $25,000,000 for assistance for Bangladesh for cyclone recovery and reconstruction assistance.

Central America.--The amended bill includes $25,000,000 for the countries of Central America in fiscal year 2008, in addition to funds otherwise made available for assistance for these countries, for a program to be called the ``Economic and Social Development Fund for Central America'', of which $20,000,000 is to be administered by USAID, in consultation with the Department of State. The purpose of the program is to promote economic and social development and good governance in targeted, low-income

areas, including rural communities that are particularly vulnerable to drug trafficking and related violence and organized crime. These funds should support programs that emphasize community initiatives and public-private partnerships. United States funds should be matched with contributions from public and private sources

to the maximum extent practicable. USAID is directed to consult with the Committees on Appropriations prior to the obligation of these funds. Of the funds available, $5,000,000 shall be administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs for educational exchanges with the countries of Central America.

Democratic Republic of the Congo.--The amended bill includes $12,500,000 for assistance for eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo for urgent conflict mitigation and recovery programs and for programs relating to sexual violence against women and girls. Of this amount, not less than $1,000,000 is to establish and support a training center for health workers who provide care and treatment for victims of sexual violence, and not less than $2,000,000 is for training military and civilian investigators,

prosecutors, and judges to bring the perpetrators of such crimes to justice.

Exchanges with Africa.--The amended bill includes $5,000,000 for educational exchanges with countries in Africa, specifically to counter extremism. These funds should be administered by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

Jordan.--The amended bill includes a total of $200,000,000 for economic assistance for Jordan, of which $175,000,000 is appropriated under this heading, and $25,000,000 is app