The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Lawmakers are mulling a $1 billion aid package to Jordan, a third of which would defray costs of regional instability, including huge refugee flows from neighboring Syria.

A subpanel of the House Appropriations Committee will review the aid during a markup of a broader bill committing some $34.1 billion in overall State Department and foreign operations for fiscal year 2014, which begins October 1.

While the overall figure is about 19 percent less than the current year’s amount, owing to efforts to reduce the U.S. deficit, the funding request for Jordan, a close ally, was fully met.

If approved, Washington would provide Jordan with $360 million in economic support, $300 million for military financing, and an additional $340 million for overseas contingency operations including the global war on terrorism.

The funding is in addition to the $200 million that President Barack Obama pledged to Jordan in March.

“Jordan needs our support, and we include additional funding for the costs associated with the hundreds of thousands of refugees they have welcomed into the country,” congresswoman Kay Granger, who chairs the State and foreign operations subcommittee, said at a hearing Friday.

The small kingdom — a key Western ally and one of just two Arab countries to have signed a peace treaty with Israel — says it is hosting some 550,000 refugees from Syria.

The bill also fully funds the State Department’s embassy and diplomatic mission security request to the tune of $4.8 billion.

House Appropriations Committee chairman Hal Rogers said such funding would “help avoid tragedies like the loss of life in the recent Benghazi terrorist attack.”

Four Americans, including the ambassador to Libya, died during an attack on the US mission in Benghazi last September 11, raising questions about the level of security at U.S. outposts in volatile regions.

Meanwhile the World Bank announced Thursday it would provide $150 million in emergency aid to Jordan to help it cope with the “immense pressure” of the flood of Syrian refugees.

Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Danziger Draws

Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons and one novel. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Republicans in the Arizona state Senate are officially off the hook for the $2.8 million needed to replace hundreds of voting machines ruined during the GOP-led, scandal-ridden "audit" of the 2020 election results in the state, the Arizona Republic reported.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted in August to force GOP state senators — who had signed an agreement saying that they would be responsible for any costs incurred from their "forensic audit" of the state's 2020 election — to pay the millions for the machines.

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}