Sixteen months after the President requested Iraq and Afghanistan funding for 2008-09, the House Majority is now bringing to the floor an emergency supplemental bill totaling more than $257 billion for the 2008-18 period. The measure, H.R. 2642 will provide discretionary funding for the war, diplomatic activities, domestic programs, Hurricane Katrina, and disaster assistance for midwest floods. The bill also contains direct, or mandatory, spending for expanded educational benefits for veterans, and extended unemployment insurance. The discussion below summarizes the bill according to these two components.
Discretionary Spending. Overall, spending in the supplemental totals $187 billion in discretionary budget authority [BA], including $162 billion for the Department of Defense in Iraq and Afghanistan for fiscal years 2008-09; $9 billion for diplomatic and international affairs activities; $5.8 billion in funds for Katrina-related reconstruction in the Gulf States; and $2.7 billion in disaster related assistance from the midwest flooding.
Direct Spending. In addition, an amendment to the bill adds $71 billion in new mandatory spending for domestic items, of which $63 billion is for GI benefits and $11.45 billion is for additional unemployment compensation. Because this spending is added to an appropriations bill, it need not comply with the House pay-as-you-go [PAYGO] rule. With this additional spending, the bill exceeds, by $73.5 billion over 11 years, the amount provided for in the budget resolution.