Finally getting around to looking at the nuts&bolts of HR 1591. I have to say there are more nuts than bolts.
In Chapter 6, the House allocates to itself under the guise of fighting the Global War on Terror[I will use the capital letters even though they never appear in HR 1591] a sum of $6,437,000.
Or in Chapter 8 we find the following:
Child Survival and Health Programs Fund: $161,000,000 for Avian Flu prevention.
International Disaster and Famine Assistance: $135,000,000 put in fund. $30 million for the Sudan refugees and $75 million for unanticipated humanitarian needs and to replenish funds for the crisis in Iraq.
Contributions for International Peacekeeping Activities: $288,000,000 which includes $184 million for UNIFIL and $88 million for a proposed peacekeeping mission to Chad.
Assistance for Eastern Europe and Balkan States: $239,000,000.
Why are these even in a bill that is supposed to provide funding for Iraq and Afghanistan?
Total cost for just these provisions is, get this: $823,391,000. Talking real money here.
Then we get to Chapter 9, the Murtha Chapter. This chapter is everything Murtha promised in that candid interview. Limiting tours to 365 days for Army and 210 days for Marine Corps. But strangely Murtha is going to leave the Air Force/Air Force Reserve/Air National Guard/Army Reserve/Navy/Navy Reserve out to dry, there is NO limit on how much they can be deployed.
Section 1905 is strange. Thirty days after enactment of this act, a Coordinator for Iraq Assistance will be created. The post will report directly to the President and requires advice&consent of the Senate. Will have the rank and status of ambassador. Basically this person will be akin to the Dept. of Homeland Security Czar, make all the other agencies tasked with helping rebuild/secure Iraq report to this coordinator while in fact creating another agency that will jostle for power. There is also no mention of how much this post will cost.
Section 1906 micro-manages the Department of Veteran Affairs by specifically forbidding any of the money obligated by this bill, like in Chapter 7, or any other Act from closing Walter Reed Army Hospital.
This piece of legislation is just bad all around and needs to be killed.