House defends billions in Afghanistan spending, but cuts millions

Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.) proposed the biggest cut — he offered language to completely gut the $2.615 billion in funding for the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund, and said this money is being offered without any clear plan.

Garamendi noted that the U.S. is spending $5 billion on this fund in 2013, and said it should be zeroed out completely. But the House disagreed and voted down his amendment 150-276.

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The House also voted down language from Rep. David Cicilline to cut the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund by $200 million, in a 184-237 vote.

However, the House did accept a proposal from Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tenn.) to cut the infrastructure fund by $140 million, in a 249-173 vote.

It also accepted language from Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) to cut the Afghanistan Security Forces Fund by $553.8 million, in order to end the contract with the Russian company Rosoboronexport. This amendment passed 346-79.

Members considered several other amendments to the bill on Tuesday evening, from:

— Scott Rigell (R-Va.), prohibiting funds in the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund to be used to start new projects. Passed 332-94.

— Steve Scalise (R-La.), prohibiting DOD from entering into new contracts for the procurement or production of non-petroleum based fuel. Passed in voice vote.

— Lee Terry (R-Neb.), prohibiting DOD from spending funds to enforce a section of the Energy Independent and Security Act. Withdrawn.

— Rob Wittman (R-Va.), prohibiting funds from being used to propose, plan or execute another Base Realignment and Closure round. Rejected in voice vote.

— Paul Broun (R-Ga.), prohibiting DOD from spending money to propose, plan or execute new BRAC rounds. Withdrawn.

— Bill Flores (R-Texas), prohibiting funds from being used to enforce the selective fuel bans under the Energy Independent and Security Act. Passed 237-189.

— Tom Cole (R-Okla.), prohibiting spending on implementing a furlough of DOD workers who are paid from the Working Capital Fund Account, a revolving fund that does not get direct funding from Congress. Accepted in voice vote.

— Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), prohibiting funds from being used to train the Afghan Special Mission Wing to operate Mi-17 helicopters made by Russia's state arms dealer. Passed 333-93.

— Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), reducing funding by 1 percent overall, except the Defense Health Program and Military Personnel Accounts. Failed 109-317.

— Mike Quigley (D-Ill.), limiting funds made available in the bill to operate no more than 300 land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles. Failed 142-283.

— Jeff Denham (R-Calif.), prohibiting funds to implement the Trans Regional Web Initiative. Failed 185-238.

— Ted Poe (R-Texas), eliminating the waiver conditions on aid to Pakistan. Withdrawn.

Three other amendments were passed together en bloc, in a voice vote, from:

— Cicilline, cutting the Afghan Security Forces Fund by $60 million to increase Defense Health Programs by $14 million.

— Patrick Murphy (D-Fla.), prohibiting the use of funds to maintain facilities that DOD lists as being completely unused.

— Paul Broun (R-Ga.), prohibiting DOD from using funds to operate an unmanned aerial system in contravention of the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution.

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