By Vicki Needham - 05/13/10 10:20 PM EDT
Considering rising deficits, an emergency supplemental for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and disaster funds should focus solely on those costs and offsets should be considered, a leading House appropriator said Thursday.
House Appropriations ranking member Jerry Lewis (R-Calif.) urged lawmakers to pass a "clean" version of the legislation, which was marked up today in the Senate Appropriations Committee.
"Even funding for true emergencies should be considered with an eye toward saving taxpayer dollars," Lewis said in a release.
Lewis suggested using extra stimulus funding to offset the costs of the bill.
The Senate panel today approved a $58.8 billion bill, with $45.4 billion in discretionary spending and $13.4 billion in mandatory spending.
The bill includes $33.45 billion for 30,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, $5.1 billion for disaster recovery, $2.8 billion for earthquake relief for Haiti.
The mandatory spending is for the Veterans Affairs Department for disability compensation to Vietnam veterans after a decision to expand the number of illnesses related to exposure to Agent Orange.