At the same time the Bush administration pushes for deep cuts in a popular crime-fighting program for states and cities, the White House has been fighting for approval of $603 million for the Iraqi police, reports McClatchy Newspapers. The White House backs cuts in the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant program, which helps local law enforcement officials deal with violent crime and serious offenders. In 2002, the year before the Iraq war, the program received $900 million; Bush now wants the figure at $200 million..
When the Senate last week passed the emergency Iraq war funding bill, it allotted an immediate $490 million for the domestic grants while keeping the Iraqi police funds intact. Tthe domestic grants are the kind of spending that’s causing Bush to threaten a veto. The Iraq police funds are listed as money due to Iraq’s Ministry of Interior. The Congressional Research Service estimates that since the war began, the U.S. has spent about $20.75 billion to train and equip Iraqi soldiers and police officers.