Congress works on Iraq spending limits

Iraqi flags flutter during the opening ceremony of a new oil refinery plant in the Shiite holy city of Najaf, central Iraq, on March 15, 2008.

TEXT OF STORY

Scott Jagow: Congress is still trying to cut a deal to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. One thing many Republicans and Democrats agree on is the need to set some limits. John Dimsdale reports from Washington.


John Dimsdale: House and Senate leaders have endorsed a ban on U.S. funding for any Iraqi reconstruction project that exceeds $2 million. Iraq would also have to share the costs of joint military operations and foot the bill for fuel. Former Pentagon official Lawrence Korb says this is the first Congressional restriction on war spending to get bipartisan support.

Lawrence Korb: Whether you're for the war or against the war, Americans are looking and saying, "These people have plenty of money. Why are we spending it?" And I think, particularly symbolically, is the oil. They're exporting 2 million barrels a day of oil. So, I think people say, "Hey, this is not quite fair."

Korb says the spending restrictions should save close to $15 billion a year. But Democratic leaders are trying to add extra unemployment benefits, economic stimulus grants and the President's request for global food aid. Anti-war Democrats are balking because they want to vote against the spending bill. And the White House is threatening to veto any extra line items.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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