Reports from the Hill suggest that the House and Senate conference committee have agreed on language for the final FY09 Emergency Supplemental, replete with language for the full repayment of UN arrears. That’s $721 million to make up for the shortfall from FY04 to FY09 and $168 million for the voluntary peacekeeping account for Somalia. Apparently, the deal was struck after it was agreed that the debate on detainee photos would be left out of this bill and decided by the courts.
Needless to say, this is great news, and Congress should be commended. If you see your representative strolling down the street today, or you’re calling in to request Achy, Breaky Heart, or you’re writing a letter to the editor about how your dog said “hi”, how about working in a shout out for Congress?
The $106 billion total is above both the Senate and House passed versions, which I’ve heard is due to their plans to use some of the money to “forward fund” programs in FY10. But, we shouldn’t count our chickens yet. Both the House and Senate, particularly the House, will face contentious votes on the Supp, most likely tomorrow, over IMF funding and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
And, even if we’re successful on this front, don’t forget that it’s an uphill battle in the FY10 budget. Stay tuned.