WASHINGTON — The House on Wednesday adopted a proposal by Rep. Lee Terry to cut $2.6 billion out of the money allotted to train and equip Afghan security forces.
Under the proposal, that money would be used to reduce the need for additional civilian Defense Department furloughs in the next fiscal year.
Terry’s amendment to a defense spending bill had succeeded Tuesday on a voice vote, but Terry asked for a roll call tally on it.
He withdrew that request Wednesday, and the amendment was adopted. The bill still needs to win approval in the Senate before becoming law.
Terry has argued that it’s appropriate to tap the Afghan Security Forces Fund because of reports that billions of dollars has been misspent in Afghanistan.
Critics of the move say it would undermine efforts to hand the fight in Afghanistan over to Afghan forces and withdraw U.S. troops.
The overall defense spending bill, approved 315-109 in the House, would provide the Pentagon with $512.5 billion for weapons, personnel, aircraft and ships, plus $85.8 billion for the Afghanistan War, for the next budget year.
The total, which is $5.1 billion below current spending, has drawn a veto threat from the White House.
In a leap of faith, the bill assumes that Congress and the administration will resolve the automatic, across-the-board spending cuts known as sequestration. The bill projects spending in the next fiscal year at $28.1 billion above the sequestration level.
By voice vote, the House backed an amendment that would require President Barack Obama to seek congressional approval before sending U.S. forces into Syria. It also adopted, by voice vote, an amendment barring funds for military or paramilitary operations in Egypt.
The overall bill must be reconciled with whatever measure is produced by the Senate.
This report includes material from the Associated Press.