Yesterday I gave a speech, making it clear that I'll veto a bill that restricts our commanders on the ground in Iraq, a bill that doesn't fund our troops, a bill that's got too much spending on it. I made that clear to the members.Emphasis mine.
We stand united in saying loud and clear that when we've got a troop in harm's way, we expect that troop to be fully funded; and we've got commanders making tough decisions on the ground, we expect there to be no strings on our commanders; and that we expect the Congress to be wise about how they spend the people's money.
How Congress would like to spend the people’s money:
The war spending bill that the U.S. House has passed - which calls for a pullout of troops from Iraq by March of 2008 - could mean some $7.7 billion for areas hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, House Democrats said Thursday.White House spokesperson Dana Perino elaborates on the President's position:
The House version of the bill could bring $6.4 billion in cash and almost $1.3 billion more in forgiven loans to the region.
A Senate version passed Thursday included more than $3 billion for hurricane recovery and other projects in Louisiana, Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., said in a news release.
But both bills include target deadlines for pulling U.S. troops out of Iraq, and Bush has said he will veto any bill with such a requirement. He also has criticized both bills for including domestic projects.
Our troops are in harm's way and engaged with the enemy, and they need the funds. Just this morning the Department of Defense notified Congress that in order to meet the force protection needs of the Marine Corps and the Army we are borrowing funds from other important Marine and Army procurement programs. That is taking funding intended for medium tactical vehicle replacement, Humvees and Humvee equipment, the tactical communications modernization program, and upgrades to other vehicles.Reprogramming funds… you mean like what the Army Corps of Engineers wants to do with the West Bank levees?
This reprogramming of funds is only necessary because Congress has failed to act in a timely manner on the President's emergency funding request. And so this, again, underscores the need to get this show on the road, get the bill to the President, he will veto it, and then we'll take it from there.
The Army Corps of Engineers is proposing to divert up to $1.3 billion for levee repairs from the Mississippi River's East Bank, which was ravaged by Hurricane Katrina, to the West Bank, where tens of thousands of people have resettled.Why doesn’t Congress act in a timely manner and pass a bill funding both projects so one doesn’t have to steal money from the other?
If approved, the plan has the potential to slow new levee work on the East Bank, where most of New Orleans is situated, and pit the city's residents against those on the West Bank.
Oh, wait. That’s what they are trying to do in the bill Bush says he will veto:
Both bills [House and Senate version] include $1.3 billion for levee work.Let’s get this show on the road!
Early in March, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said it wanted to move that amount from work on east bank levees to shore up dangerously low levees on the west bank, which remained largely free of floods after Hurricane Katrina.