There’s no money in the Defense Department’s 1996 budget for Bosnia, no matter what the president suggests, U.S. Rep. George Nethercutt said Friday.
The Spokane Republican, who serves on a House subcommittee that writes the Pentagon budget, said Clinton will have to take money from training funds to pay for the U.S. troops he plans to send to Bosnia.
While that’s not unprecedented, it does suggest the administration will have to ask Congress for more money next year to pay for training the troops will need, Nethercutt said.
Clinton announced Thursday he would sign the $243 billion defense bill, despite disagreements over weapons programs, because it would provide money to send troops and supplies to Bosnia.
“What money for Bosnia?” Nethercutt demanded during an interview in Spokane.
The House considered adding an amendment that would have barred any funds in the bill from being used for Bosnia, but eventually decided against it, Nethercutt said. But it also did not set aside money for the peacekeeping mission.
Nethercutt believes public sentiment is running strongly against Clinton on the Bosnia mission. The House may be debating the mission next week, but it faces a dilemma, he added.
Members of Congress who oppose the policy still want to make it clear they support the troops in the field, he said.