By Walter Alarkon - 06/29/10 04:42 PM EDT
“I will say that the American public has concerns — substantial concerns — with what we're doing in Afghanistan in terms of success,” Hoyer told reporters Tuesday.
Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.), a senior appropriator who oversees State Department spending measures, said she would cut about $3.9 billion in foreign aid to Afghanistan from the spending bill because of concerns over corruption in both the private and public sectors.
By splitting the votes, Democrats hope to advance the war money with the help of Republicans. House GOP leaders have said they would oppose the war spending if it’s packaged with other provisions, such as the teacher fund.
“I would hope our Republican friends will support that they support and oppose that which they oppose, as opposed to taking a walk on war funding,” Hoyer said.
Despite a promise of separate votes, House Republicans have yet to back the war spending measure, noting that the war and domestic spending could be packaged together afterwards.
An earlier version of the spending bill drafted by House Appropriations Chairman David Obey (D-Wis.) included $23 billion to help states and local governments avoid teacher cutbacks, plus billions more for foreign aid, Pell Grants and compensation for Vietnam veterans exposed to the chemical Agent Orange.
Democratic leaders have since shrunk the size of the measure or found ways to offset their cost because of centrists’ deficit concerns. Most of the spending wasn’t paid for, as Democrats considered it emergency spending.
Hoyer said Tuesday that the $10 billion in teacher funding would be paid for through spending cuts elsewhere, but he has yet to detail those cuts.