What: All Issues : War & Peace : War with Iraq : H.R. 3289. Fiscal 2004 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan/Vote to Convert $10 Billion of the $20 Billion Iraq Reconstruction Budget from a Grant to a Loan. (2003 house Roll Call 546)
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H.R. 3289. Fiscal 2004 Supplemental Appropriations for Iraq and Afghanistan/Vote to Convert $10 Billion of the $20 Billion Iraq Reconstruction Budget from a Grant to a Loan.
house Roll Call 546     Oct 16, 2003
Progressive Position:
Yea
Progressive Result:
Loss

One major issue which arose during House debate on the administration's $87 billion supplemental spending request for costs associated with military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan involved the financing of reconstruction aid to Iraq. As originally drafted, the supplemental spending bill would provide $20 billion in Iraq reconstruction funding in the form of a grant (a grant, unlike a loan, does not require a recipient to repay the money). Progressives favored a loan for Iraq's reconstruction costs because, in their view, U.S. taxpayers should not be burdened with the entire cost of Iraq's reconstruction, especially given that Iraq's oil reserves are estimated at over $1 trillion and that, in their view, President Bush's "go-it-alone" strategy had needlessly alienated potential allies who might have been inclined to help the U.S.-either financially or militarily or both-during both the Iraqi conflict and the post-war reconstruction. In a move intended to lighten the fiscal burden on U.S. taxpayers, Congressman Obey (D-WI) proposed an amendment which would have converted $10 billion of the $20 billion Iraqi reconstruction budget from a grant to a loan. Conservatives opposed Obey's amendment and argued that with no Iraqi government in place, a loan would be meaningless because no institution could be held responsible for its repayment. Obey's proposal was defeated on a vote of 200-226 and the $20 billion reconstruction budget for Iraq remained constituted in the form of a grant. (Note: An identical proposal to Obey's was narrowly adopted in the Senate (see Senate Vote 389) which required negotiators in conference committee to make the final determination of how the Iraq reconstruction budget will be structured.)

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