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SCOTT JAGOW: The House gets to work today on an emergency spending bill to pay for the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The White House wants $100 billion, but Congress is tacking on a few items of its own. John Dimsdale explains.
JOHN DIMSDALE: Democrats have tacked on more money for veterans health care, military housing, constructing levees in New Orleans, drought relief for farmers and health insurance premiums for children.
Qorvis Communications budget analyst Stan Collender says the new congressional leaders are trying to show they can get things done.
STAN COLLENDER: It’s a very typical type situation in Washington. A spending bill is going through, especially a must-pass bill. So Congress is trying to add some spending because they know they’re likely to get it through.
To offset some of the additional spending, House Defense Appropriations chairman John Murtha of Pennsylvania would cut $800 million for the growing number of private contractors in Iraq.
JOHN MURTHA: GAO and the inspector general in Iraq said, a€˜Help us get a handle on the contractors.a€™ So we took 5 percent of their money out.
After looking at the bill’s requirements, including troop withdrawals from Iraq, the White House is threatening a veto.
In Washington, I’m John Dimsdale for Marketplace.
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