Afghanistan Evacuation Price Tag Rises by $7 Billion
Members of Congress say they still can’t get clear answers about the U.S evacuation effort in Afghanistan, but they’re being asked to approve an additional $7 billion to manage the pipeline of people still coming and the tens of thousands of Afghans already here.
House Democrats announced the $7 billion item early Thursday as part of a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running past a Friday shutdown deadline, buying time for lawmakers to try to hash out a broader spending deal for fiscal year 2022.
The evacuee money, agreed to by top Republicans and Democrats, comes on top of $6.3 billion included in the last stopgap bill in late September, as the price tag for the chaotic withdrawal continues to rise.
Most of the new money — $4.3 billion — goes to the Defense Department, which ran the evacuation and the camps where the evacuees are being hosted until they can be processed and released.
The new stopgap bill is up for a vote in the House this week, though it might be days before Senate action.
The Administration for Children and Families, a Health Department agency that oversees refugee arrivals, would get nearly $1.3 billion. That money would be granted to organizations helping resettle the refugees and will cover housing, medical care, education and legal assistance.
Homeland Security, which is charged with vetting and admitting the evacuees, mostly through Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas’ power of parole, would get about $150 million.
Pray: Pray for wisdom for the officials who are both approving these measures, distributing funds, and allocating budget dollars for these programs. May there be wise counsel guiding these leaders.
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