Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

Mo’ Money! Mo’ Money! Mo’ Money! More for Iraq in today’s gaggle.

Q Scott, the Iraq and Afghanistan supplemental, is that indeed, as you said, going up today? And, if so —


Q — can you remind us of why it is necessary to do this as a supplemental, outside the budget process and outside the deficit —

MR. McCLELLAN: Sure. A couple of things. One, we don’t know what the cost will be going forward in Iraq and Afghanistan. That, to some extent, depends on — or to a large extent, depends on circumstances on the ground.

Wait a minute, Scottie. The normal budgeting process routinely includes programs for which we do not know what the cost will be “going forward”. Take FEMA as a furinstance – do we know how many natural disasters will strike the U.S. when we budget for FEMA’s needs? Did Georgie know in 2003 that Florida would be hit by four hurricanes in 2004? “Circumstances on the ground” effected FEMA’s operations last year but your administration kept it in the budget proposal for 2004.

Also, when you’re looking at the war on terrorism, it’s not a cost that I think most people who understand budgeting think should be built into the baseline because it’s not going to be considered a permanent ongoing cost, some of those activities. Like I said, it depends on circumstances on the ground.

The War on Terra is not going to be a “permanent ongoing cost”? Wake me when you eliminate terrorism from the face of the earth.

But the supplemental will address the needs we have in the war on terrorism and make sure that our troops have all the resources they need to complete their mission in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Gee, you mean we didn’t give the troops “all the resources they need to complete their mission” in the last two emergency supplemental requests? Why was that?

Q One other question, if I can, on that. As I understand it, it also includes a new Baghdad embassy. We build new embassies all the time. Again, why does that have to be outside the deficit —

MR. McCLELLAN: The State Department will be talking to you more about some of the specifics relating to the State Department, and I’ll let them brief you later today.

Well, a gold-plated, $660 million embassy (the largest U.S. embassy in the world) is certainly deserving of an emergency appropriation. Hey, maybe Chimpy can ask for even more money when the Islamic Republic of Iraq over-runs the new embassy and burns it to the ground.