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 28, 2014

News: U.S. has lost track of weapons given to Afghanistan - The United States supplied almost three quarter of a million weapons to Afghanistan’s army and police since 2004, but the military cannot track where many of those arms have gone, a new report found. Bill to improve VA has $17 billion price tag - A bipartisan...
 
 

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
 
 

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...
 
 

Headlines July 23, 2014

News: Israel’s Iron Dome defense in line for tripled U.S. spending - Israel’s iron Dome missile defense system may end up getting triple the U.S. funding that the Defense Department sought for it in March. Ukraine asked U.S. for systems to counter Russian missiles - A month before the United States says a Russian missile likely brought...
 
 

News Briefs July 23, 2014

U.S. military deaths in Afghanistan at 2,194 As of July 22, 2014, at least 2,194 members of the U.S. military had died in Afghanistan as a result of the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in late 2001, according to an Associated Press count. The AP count is three less than the Defense Department’s tally. At least...
 




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>