Fraction of Iraq Funds Spent
Only $366 million has been spent out of the $18.4 billion President Bush and Congress provided last fall for rebuilding Iraq, the White House said yesterday.
The figure, in the latest quarterly report by the White House budget office, was the first time the administration has said how much of the money has been expended.
The number, which runs through June 22, is less than 2 percent of the reconstruction money that lawmakers provided. The funds were meant to finance a wide range of needs, such as training Iraqi police, starting small businesses, and rebuilding the country's electric, water, health and oil-production facilities.
Until now, the administration has provided only data on the amount of money obligated, which means spent or owed for specific contracts. Friday's report said nearly $5.3 billion is owed or has been spent -- compared with $2.2 billion as of the last report, for the period through March 24.
The budget office said it has drawn up plans to spend $11.1 billion of the total.
For the Record
* The Coast Guard said 20 foreign-flagged vessels calling on U.S. ports did not meet international security rules that took effect Thursday, when 228 foreign vessels arrived. The 20 that failed security inspections were denied entry, detained or ordered to leave port.
* An American search team located what it believes are human remains at a site in China where a CIA plane crash-landed on a secret mission nearly 52 years ago, a Pentagon official said. The plane's two pilots, Robert C. Snoddy of Roseburg, Ore., and Norman A. Schwartz of Louisville, are believed to have been killed in the crash, but their bodies were never recovered.
* Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) tried for the third time to persuade the colleagues of a federal appellate judge, William H. Pryor, to bump him from the bench. Kennedy asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta to rule that President Bush's appointment of Pryor in February during a congressional recess was unconstitutional.
* Five large air tankers that had been grounded because of safety concerns will be back fighting fires Monday now that their private operator has demonstrated they are safe to fly, federal officials said. The five planes, P-3 Orions owned by California-based Aero Union Corp., were among 33 planes grounded in May because officials had no way to tell if they were safe. The Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management canceled $30 million in contracts for use of the large air tankers in May, citing safety concerns after two planes broke up in midair in 2002, killing five people.
* An Egyptian man U.S. authorities described as one of their most wanted smugglers of humans was arrested on charges of operating a ring that illegally brought people from Egypt and other Middle Eastern countries to the United States. A grand jury indictment charges Ashraf Ahmed Abdallah, 34, with one count of conspiracy to commit alien smuggling and four counts of assisting in bringing aliens into the United States for financial gain. Abdallah was arrested at Miami International Airport while traveling from Ecuador to Egypt.
-- From News Services