Lewis pushes for clean, quick passage of war supplemental

An $81.3 billion House bill passed with only three Republican votes on July 1. That measure includes $22.8 billion more than the Senate measure, including $10 billion for an education jobs fund to help save 140,000 education jobs for the next school year, funding for Pell Grants, summer youth jobs, the Pigford and Cobell settlements and border security among other issues.

The House-passed measure won't pass the Senate with the additional funding, even with the offsets. 

In at least one letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Republican appropriators have said they would support the Senate version of the bill. 

Meanwhile, the Pentagon is waiting on the funding and is now "seriously planning" for the possibility that Congress will not pass emergency war funding before lawmakers head to the August recess, a spokesman said Wednesday.

The Senate bill, which passed in late May, provides $45.5 billion in discretionary funding for fiscal 2010. Of that amount, $37.12 billion for the troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

The measure also includes $5.1 billion for FEMA disaster relief, $2.9 billion for Haiti, $162 million for the Gulf Coast oil spill and more than $600 million for other domestic needs in discretionary appropriations. 

Additionally, the bill includes $13 billion in mandatory funding for Vietnam veterans exposed to Agent Orange as requested by the President.

The additional funding in the House-passed bill also includes innovative technology energy loans, schools on military installations, additional Gulf Coast oil spill funding, emergency food assistance, a new soldier processing center at Fort Hood, and program integrity investments that are proven to produce 1½ times their cost in savings.

To hold the total amount to the president’s requested level over a 10-year period, the House measure includes a total of $23.5 billion in offsets including $11.7 billion in rescissions from programs that no longer require the funding, have sufficient funds on hand, or do not need the funding this year or next. The bill also includes $4.7 billion in savings from changes to mandatory programs and $7.1 billion in increased revenues.

House Democrats have said the offsets save the federal government $493 million over 10 years, compared with the president’s supplemental spending request.