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Capital Hill Watch Alert

Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005 (H.R. 1268)

The Senate is scheduled on Monday, April 11, 2005, to begin considering the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005 [H.R. 1268] (To view the full text of the legislation visit: Full text of legislation ; For a Summary of the bill visit: Summary of the bill.)

Funding defense costs such as purchasing new weapons, body armor and medical supplies for troops, and raising benefits to families of soldiers killed in combat should be the purpose of the legislation.  

However, the supplemental budget includes too much extraneous spending that is not urgent or supplemental. For example, the measure would provide $50 million to meet economic requirements in Yemen, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, El Salvador, Mongolia and Djibouti.   Also, $658 million is provided to build a new U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad, Iraq, $907.6 million in relief for victims of December's Indian Ocean tsunami, $675 million for domestic counter-terrorism which is well above the $418 million sought by the President and $200 million in aid for the Palestinian Authority (PA).  

Furthermore, lawmakers are expected to offer amendments adding $2 billion for veteran's care, increasing tsunami relief by $300 million, replenishing U.S. food aid programs depleted by the tsunami, and expanding U.S. shipbuilding. And Republican Senator Larry Craig has indicated he will offer an amendment to the supplemental budget called the Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefits, and Security Act of 2005  (S. 359; To view the full text of the legislation visit: Full text of legislation ; the AgJobs Bill.) The AgJobs Bill would grant amnesty to most illegal alien farm workers and their families and would admit many more through a disastrous “temporary” worker program.  As many as three million illegals could take advantage of this amnesty according to estimates.  

The measure includes money for items that are not directly related to military operations such as the PA funding.  The PA is not working effectively toward the end of terrorism.   PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has decided that the terrorist infrastructure will be integrated into the Palestinian security forces, such as Hamas, Fatah and Islamic Jihad instead of being dismantled.  In fact, Abbas continues to play both sides of the issue while reiterating the same demands as Yasser Arafat.  Groups (especially Fatah cells) that are linked to Hizbullah are trying to carry out attacks within Israel. And Hamas has used the “cease-fire” to rebuild its military capabilities.  The PA continues the same “revolving door” policy from the past when it would arrest suspects involved in terror against Israel but releases them shortly after. Furthermore, some senior terrorists, who are in hiding because of their acts of terrorism, are still engaged in arms trade and the transfer of weapons within Mukata [Ramallah offices of PA Chairman Abbas]. The terror organizations are preparing for the day that the calm ends and are engaged nonstop in making contacts with additional terrorists.  Providing foreign aid to the PA sends the wrong message that encourages and emboldens terrorists.  Such actions convey to the terrorists that terrorism does not have to be defeated and that ultimately the US and Israel will eventually capitulate by further attacks.  For the US to provide any funds at all, the PA must dismantle and unconditionally defeat terrorist organizations.  Negotiation with terrorists must not be tolerated.  

Unfortunately, the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005 has become a tool for senators to use to fund a wide range of programs, many having nothing to do with national defense.  This appropriations bill is designed to fund U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and should not be laden with pork.  The soldiers who risk their lives daily around the world should not be used as pawns by senators' pork projects.  A vote against this measure is a vote against pork, not against America's soldiers.  

What Can You Do?    

Urge your senators  NOT TO SUPPORT the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for Defense, the Global War on Terror, and Tsunami Relief, 2005 (H.R. 1268).  

Contact Information:  

Capitol Hill Switchboard Numbers: 202-225-3121 or 202-224-3121 (Those numbers will direct you to the Capitol Hill operator. Ask for your senator's office.)  

To go to your senators' websites, find their E-mail or to find out who your senators are... http://www.senate.gov/contacting/index_by_state.cfm  

Addressing Correspondence:   

The Honorable (full name)
United States Senate
Washington, DC 20510
 

Dear Senator (last name):  

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