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Renita Jablonski: On Capitol Hill today, the House will probably not be voting on a massive spending package to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The $195 billion measure was put on hold after some lawmakers objected to how some of the money is being spent. Marketplace’s Steve Henn reports.
Steve Henn: The bill also includes cash for unemployment insurance and more money for education benefits for veterans. That’s something Paul Reickoff who runs the Iraq and Afghanistan War Veterans Association has been fighting for for years.
Paul Reickoff: This is for my soldiers who didn’t get to go to college. Thirty-eight guys in my infantry platoon served for a year in Iraq. Some of them were wounded. Some of them gave up their jobs back home and really put their lives and their families on the line to serve this country. And I think they deserve to go to college.
But budget watchdogs like Bob Bixby who runs the Concord Coalition are worried the current bill doesn’t include spending cuts or new taxes to pay for these benefits.
Bob Bixby: You really have to look at the budgetary bottom line here. This is not a small amount of money by any sense.
The new GI bill would cost $50 billion dollars over the next 10 years. And the White House has threatened a veto.
In Washington, I’m Steve Henn for Marketplace.
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