House OKs $634 Billion Defense Bill, Doesn’t Include Surge

Little Debate for Pork-Laden Bill

On Thursday the House passed an “Omnibus spending bill” worth $1.1 trillion, a hotly contested bill brimming with every pet project Congress could imagine. Today, less than a week later, the House has rushed through another $634 billion in spending.

The bill, voted on with almost no debate on the last day before the Congress goes into recess, was ostensibly a bill to fund the Pentagon and America’s assorted wars for the next nine months.

But as with every spending bill Congress passes (with alarming frequency) it was filled to the brim with unrelated spending, spending nearly a million dollars on a sprinkler system in Brooklyn and thousands of other projects totaling billions of dollars.

Though Republicans expressed annoyance at the large amount of such projects slipped into the “defense” bill, few dared to vote against war spending, and the bill passed 395-34.

Though President Obama had repeatedly taken the Bush Administration to task for not including the full cost of war in defense spending bills and promised not to repeat this, the bill included no money for the Afghan surge announced earlier this month, and will presumably set the stage for another “emergency” spending bill early in 2010 to pay for the war.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.