Terry would cut Afghan funds, use money to offset defense furloughs - Omaha.com
Published Wednesday, July 24, 2013 at 12:01 am / Updated at 9:51 pm
Terry would cut Afghan funds, use money to offset defense furloughs

WASHINGTON — Rep. Lee Terry on Tuesday touted his proposal to blunt the need for additional furloughs of civilian defense employees, while critics said his plan could hurt U.S. efforts to get out of Afghanistan.

Terry has offered an amendment to a defense spending bill that would cut $2.6 billion to train and equip Afghan security forces and increase by $1 billion other Pentagon accounts that could be used to offset furloughs.

The difference in those figures has to do with multiyear budgeting and government accounting rules.

His proposal was expected to receive a vote today.

Terry, an Omaha Republican, cited reports of wasteful spending in Afghanistan, from a shiny new headquarters that is likely to go unused to new helicopters that Afghan special forces are not able to fly at this point.

He pointed to one report that the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction has uncovered nearly $2 billion of questionable spending there just in the past three months.

“This is basically the type of slush fund to be used for special projects that — accusations have been made — are simply lining the pockets of some Afghani officials,” he said on the House floor.

Terry said that instead of being wasted in Afghanistan, that money can be used to protect employees in the United States from the furloughs that have resulted from the across-the-board cuts known as sequestration.

He noted that more than $5 billion would remain in the Afghan security fund.

But others said chopping funds intended to build up Afghan security forces would be shortsighted.

While expressing a desire to avoid more furloughs, Pentagon officials view the funds Terry is targeting as critical to the United States’ ability to achieve its goals in Afghanistan and turn the security lead over to Afghan forces.

They continue to press Congress for broader legislation that addresses sequestration.

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, acknowledged that money has been misspent in Afghanistan.

Levin told The World-Herald that Terry’s proposal would be a “mistake” because it could make it tougher to get U.S. troops out of there and back home.

“There was a lot of wasted spending in Afghanistan, but that’s not the issue here,” Levin said. “The issue here is whether or not we help our mission succeed and get our troops home faster by supporting the Afghan security forces.”

Contact the writer: Joseph Morton

joe.morton@owh.com    |  

Joe is The World-Herald's Washington, D.C., bureau, covering national political developments that matter most to Midlanders.

Hail, strong winds, heavy rain hit south-central Nebraska
Agreement reached to end dog racing at Bluffs Run at end of 2015
Police ID. body found near 36th, Seward Streets
Video: Stothert says Crossroads project is 'full speed ahead,' but she won't support bond issue
'Fairly old' human skull found in Mills County
World champion Crawford's promoter working to have title defense at CenturyLink Center
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
Omaha crash victim, 19, had touched many lives
Firefighters take on 'fully engulfed barn fire'
Council Bluffs school board approves new district headquarters
Officials announce effort to lure more veterans to Nebraska
SB 132nd Street lane closed
Shane Osborn grabs several endorsements
New public employee pay data: Douglas, Lancaster, Sarpy Counties, plus utilities
Database: How much did Medicare pay your doctor?
Omaha area may get 1 inch of rain tonight
Gov. Heineman vetoes bill to ease restrictions on nurse practitioners
Nebraska banking and finance director to retire
Waitress who served alcohol to teen before fatal crash gets jail time, probation
Owners of exotic dance bar deny prostitution allegations
More Nebraskans are electing to vote early
A day after Ricketts endorsement, Ted Cruz backs Sasse for Senate
Some city streets remain closed
Nebraska's U.S. Senate candidates stick to familiar topics at Omaha forum
19-year-old killed in one-vehicle crash at 72nd & Shirley
< >
Kelly: Started at a dining room table, Home Instead thriving at 20 with $1B in annual revenue
The idea that Paul Hogan had studied and then hatched at his mother's table was that older people, rather than moving in with relatives or to an assisted-living center, would much prefer to stay home instead.
Breaking Brad: Nebraska GOP candidates unified against naked squirrels
Some of these Nebraska campaigns are tilting pretty far right. At a recent forum, there was a consensus that we need to ban public dancing and clothe naked squirrels in public parks.
Breaking Brad: Inside the mind of a 99-year-old real estate agent
I saw an article about a 99-year-old real estate agent who's still working. “This house is extra special. It has indoor toilets!”
Breaking Brad: Into the claw machine! Florida kid follows Lincoln kid's lead
In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a child climbed inside a claw machine. Hey, Florida kid: Nobody likes a copycat.
Breaking Brad: Even Chuck Hassebrook's throwing mud!
The Nebraska campaigns have turned so ugly, Democrat Chuck Hassebrook lobbed unfounded accusations at an imaginary opponent.
Deadline Deal thumbnail
Tokyo Sushi
$5 for $10 or $10 for $20 toward All-You-Can-Eat Sushi Purchase
Buy Now
< >
Omaha World-Herald Contests
Enter for a chance to win great prizes.
OWH Store: Buy photos, books and articles
Buy photos, books and articles
Travel Snaps Photo
Going on Vacation? Take the Omaha World-Herald with you and you could the next Travel Snaps winner.
Click here to donate to Goodfellows
The 2011 Goodfellows fund drive provided holiday meals to nearly 5,000 families and their children, and raised more than $500,000 to help families in crisis year round.
Want to get World-Herald stories sent directly to your home or work computer? Sign up for Omaha.com's News Alerts and you will receive e-mails with the day's top stories.
Can't find what you need? Click here for site map »