In the news...

July 24, 2013

Congress threatens Afghanistan over U.S. exit taxes

Bradley Klapper
Associated Press

Lawmakers threatened Afghanistan July 23 with severe cuts in foreign aid if President Hamid Karzai’s government institutes an exit tax on American military equipment, food supplies and other goods as the United States pulls most of its troops and much of its property out of the country over the next 18 months.

I have seen some stupid things from that government,î said Sen. Patrick Leahy, who co-sponsored the amendment. ìI have seen some things that make you wonder what universe they live in. But this one just went beyond the pale.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham agreed, calling talk of an exit tax on U.S. property ìridiculousî after a dozen years of American-led stabilization efforts in Afghanistan.

Their threat: To withhold $5 in foreign aid to Afghanistan for every $1 in fees imposed on the United States for repatriating any property.

The levies were described in a June 28 letter to lawmakers identifying almost $1 billion in business taxes and penalties imposed by the Afghan government on contractors supporting U.S. operations. The U.S. special investigator for Afghanistan warned of hundreds of millions of dollars in additional future costs if Congress doesn’t act.

Since 2002, Congress has spent more than $90 billion on humanitarian and reconstruction programs in Afghanistan. That doesn’t include hundreds of billions of dollars more in military costs.

The Afghanistan amendment was attached to the Senate’s 2014 foreign operations bill, which passed an appropriations subcommittee by voice vote Tuesday. It will go to a full Senate vote in the coming weeks.
The bill slashes the State Department’s diplomacy and aid budget by 5 percent from last year, but is far less severe than the 20 percent reduction approved by a House panel last week.

Like the House, the Senate provides full funding for embassy security to guard against any repeat of last year’s deadly attack in Benghazi, Libya.

However, the Senate maintains payments for several U.N. agencies that the House wants to cut funding for completely. It provides stronger support for global climate change programs, international financial institutions, development efforts and disaster relief.

The Senate’s bill proposes spending of $50.6 billion.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines July 25, 2014

News: VA reform bills stalled by partisan bickering - Plans for a comprehensive Veterans Affairs Department reform bill that appeared all but finished a month ago devolved into partisan bickering and funding fights July 24, casting doubt on the future of a deal.   Business: Airbus, Boeing, Lockheed announce bids on Danish fighter competition; Saab withdraws -...
 
 

News Briefs July 25, 2014

Marines investigate corporal who vanished in Iraq U.S. Marine Corp officers are launching a formal investigation into whether a Lebanese-American Marine deserted his unit in Iraq or later after returning to the United States. A spokesman for the 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune said July 24 that Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun is being...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Erin OíShea

U.S. Forces display military might at Farnborough

Air Force photograph by A1C Erin O’Shea Capt. Tom Meyers discusses the F-15E Strike Eagle’s capabilities with spectators July 17, 2014, at the Farnborough International Airshow in England. Public access was granted ...
 

 
raptors4

Raptors, Falcons fuel up in desert skies

Three U.S. Air Force F-22 Raptors assigned to the 325th Fighter Wing, Tyndall Air Force Base, Fla., fly alongside a KC-135 Stratotanker assigned to the 93rd Air Refueling Squadron, Fairchild AFB, Wash., during Red Flag 14-3, Ju...
 
 
lm-kmax

Lockheed Martin’s unmanned cargo helicopter team returns from deployment

After lifting more than 4.5 million pounds of cargo and conducting thousands of delivery missions for the U.S. Marine Corps, the Lockheed Martin and Kaman Aerospace Corporation K-MAX cargo unmanned aircraft system has returned ...
 
 
Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler

Sun sets on Red Flag 14-3

Air Force photograph by A1C Thomas Spangler The sun sets behind a row of F-16 Fighting Falcons during Red Flag 14-3, July 16, 2014, at Nellis Air Force Base, Nev. Red Flag provides a series of intense air-to-air combat scenario...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>