House Set To Deal Blow To Iraq Training Program

Lawmakers didn’t include funding for it in the Continuing Resolution they’ll vote on this evening. A source tells BuzzFeed the Pentagon isn’t happy.

Saad Shalash / Reuters

WASHINGTON — Pentagon officials are unhappy with a decision by lawmakers in the House of Representatives not to reauthorize train-and-assist programs run by the American military for Iraq’s armed forces, a Capitol Hill source told BuzzFeed.

The House appears likely to approve a Continuing Resolution on Thursday evening that leaves out that program, as well as funding for a handful of other Department of Defense projects, including some counter-narcotics and shipbuilding programs, the source told BuzzFeed.

Pentagon officials have told others they are particularly concerned with the exclusion of renewed funding for the Office of Security Cooperation in Iraq, which oversees training for the Iraqi military. If Congress does not act, authorization for that office will expire at the beginning of October, and 220 of the 296 Americans working there will be sent home.

So far, any internal frustration at the Pentagon has not spread yet to Capitol Hill, where members of Congress on both sides of the aisle have expressed support for the Continuing Resolution.

Asked Thursday about the Continuing Resolution in general, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters, “I don’t see it as controversial.”

A Pentagon spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.

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