House Republicans Oppose $100B New Line of Credit for IMF
Republicans in the House are lining up to oppose an almost $100 billion war-funding bill if Democrats insist on including in it a new line of credit for the International Monetary Fund.
Democrats may have to scramble to pass the bill in the House, where GOP votes are likely to be needed to make up for about 50 anti-war liberal Democrats who opposed it last month.
At the core of the $98.8 billion House-Senate measure is $79.9 billion for the Pentagon, a figure that's also rankling House Republicans since it represents an almost $5 billion cut from the version that passed the House last month. That measure did not include funding for the IMF.
Responding to media reports that House Democratic negotiators have agreed to include a new $100 billion line of credit to the IMF -- a top priority of President Obama -- the top Republican in the House said Tuesday he would oppose the bill.
"Let's be clear: a troop-funding bill should fund our troops, period," said Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio. "Weighing down this critical legislation with nondefense spending will only drag this process out further and cost it essential Republican support needed for passage."
Obama promised the IMF money at April's G-20 summit to help developing countries deal with the troubled global economy. About $8 billion for an earlier commitment for the IMF will be included.
The actual U.S. costs for the IMF contribution are far less -- $5 billion is the Congressional Budget Office estimate -- since the U.S. government is given interest-bearing assets in return. Still, U.S. debt would have to be issued to provide the money at a time when government borrowing has exploded.
"There is absolutely no reason for the Democrat majority to complicate a bill intended to fund our troops by larding it up with over $108 billion in borrowed money for the IMF," said House GOP Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia.