New funding requests from the White House Tuesday night along with added-in financing for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may put the bill over the $100-billion mark. The IMF money is supposed to make good on President Obama’s promise at the G-20 summit in April to help developing countries facing economic crisis. The deal will purportedly include not only a $100-billion credit line to the IMF, but also an $8-billion increase in the US member contribution to the IMF and authorization for the US to back the IMF’s plan to sell 400 tons of gold.
Republicans in the House are hesitant to support this bill if Speaker Nancy Pelosi's insistence on IMF funds means cutting funds to sufficiently support our troops fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. As Republican Minority Leader John Boehner made crystal clear:
“A troop funding bill should fund our troops, period. I will oppose this legislation if it is loaded up with billions in spending that is unrelated to our military’s core mission of protecting our nation and our interests. Additional funding for the IMF should be judged on its own merits and in its own legislation. Our men and women in uniform are doing tremendous work to protect our security in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they should not be forced to carry billions in unrelated spending.”
According to Capitol Hill newspaper, Politico, the President has some other non-troop items to add to the war supplemental, including $2 billion to address future bouts with swine flu and an extra $200 million for refugee aid in Pakistan.
Troop funding should be troop funding and that’s it. The men and women in uniform should not be held hostage to Speaker Pelosi and President Obama’s pet projects.