NY Times reported without refuting Bush's false claim about House appropriation earmark

››› ››› JULIE MILLICAN

A March 28 New York Times article reported without refuting President Bush's false claim that the $6.4 million for "the House of Representatives' 'salaries and expense accounts' " -- included in the emergency supplemental bill for the war in Iraq recently approved by the House -- was "not related to the war and protecting the United States of America." In fact, the provision to which Bush was referring is for funding for "contingency operations directly related to the global war on terrorism, and other unanticipated defense-related operations," which according to The Washington Post is "a highly classified upgrade of Capitol security that has been underway since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001."

On March 23, the House narrowly approved an emergency war supplemental spending bill that contained a provision to bring most troops home from Iraq by September 1, 2008. The bill passed 218-212. The March 28 Times article -- by reporters Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Carl Hulse and headlined "Bush Rules Out Bid by Congress for Iraq Pullout" -- noted that Bush "reiterated" a "threat" to "veto any war spending bill that contains a [troop] withdrawal date," and noted that in his March 27 speech before the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, Bush took "particular aim at Democrats for loading the military spending bills with unrelated special interest projects." From the article:

The president has been saying for weeks that he will veto any war spending bill that contains a withdrawal date. He reiterated that threat on Wednesday, taking particular aim at Democrats for loading the military spending bills with unrelated special interest projects above the $100 billion he has asked for the war, including $3.5 million for visitors to "tour the Capitol and see for themselves how Congress works," and $6.4 million for the House of Representatives' "salaries and expense accounts."

"I don't know what that is," Mr. Bush said wryly, "but it's not related to the war and protecting the United States of America."

That puts Mr. Bush in the difficult position of fighting the new Democratic majority on two fronts, both the war spending and the prosecutors. On Wednesday, he seemed in no mood to back down from the war spending fight.

But the text of the legislation specifically notes "[t]hat the amount provided under this heading is designated as making appropriations for contingency operations directly related to the global war on terrorism." From the legislation:

For an additional amount for ''Salaries and Expenses'', $6,437,000, as follows:

ALLOWANCES AND EXPENSES

For an additional amount for allowances and expenses as authorized by House resolution or law, 16

$6,437,000 for business continuity and disaster recovery, to remain available until expended: Provided, That the amount provided under this heading is designated as making appropriations for contingency operations directly related to the global war on terrorism, and other unanticipated defense-related operations, pursuant to section 402 22 of H. Con. Res. 376 (109th Congress), as made applicable to the House of Representatives by section 511(a)(4) of 24 H. Res. 6 (110th Congress).

A March 28 Post article reported that the funds "are actually for a highly classified upgrade of Capitol security that has been underway since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001":

Bush singled out $6.4 million in the House bill for House salaries and expense accounts. "I don't know what that is," the president said to laughter, "but it is not related to the war and protecting the United States of America."

The funds are actually for a highly classified upgrade of Capitol security that has been underway since the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

We've changed our commenting system to Disqus.
Instructions for signing up and claiming your comment history are located here.
Updated rules for commenting are here.