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Committee Approves Supplemental Spending Bill

On May 7, the House Appropriations Committee passed, by voice vote, the FY2009 Supplemental Appropriations bill (as-yet-unnumbered).

According to the committee summary, the measure would provide $96.9 billion for supplemental appropriations. Included in that amount is $84.5 billion for defense and intelligence activities in Afghanistan and Iraq, $10 billion for the Department of State, United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and international affairs and stabilization efforts, and $2 billion for the government’s pandemic flu response.

Within the $84.5 billion provided for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the bill includes $1.2 billion for defense health benefits and programs to provide support for military families, and $276 million for child development centers in order to “provide an additional 5,000 child care spaces and address a top concern of military families.”

Included in the amount set aside for humanitarian assistance is $100 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis (TB), and Malaria in order to “address a funding shortfall in key countries, such as Haiti, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and Afghanistan”; $500 million for P.L. 480 international food assistance “to alleviate suffering during the global economic crisis”; and $837 million for peacekeeping efforts in the DRC, Chad, and Central African Republic.

During consideration of the bill, the committee rejected, 22-35, an amendment by Rep. Harold Rogers (R-KY) to add, among other provisions, $200 million for Justice and Homeland Security programs aimed at securing the U.S.-Mexico border, including $50 million for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria.

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