U.S. Congress to Iraq: Pay Our War Expenses With Your Oil Revenue

Iraqis would be forced to pay for U.S. efforts in their country directly or via loans from the United States if any of at least five similar pieces of legislation introduced on Capitol Hill this month is approved.

This comes as Americans deal with — and politicians respond to — an unpopular and expensive war, a sinking economy and record gas prices, Ben Lando reports for United Press International.

“Whether or not you support the war strategy,” said Rep. Ron Klein, D-Fla., “the Iraqi government needs to pay for its fair share after five years and $600 billion in American taxpayer expenses.”
Klein’s resolution would require U.S. funds for Iraq reconstruction and security forces training, as well as the cost of fuel for U.S. operations, to be repaid by Iraq as a loan.
“What this resolution does is put the burden on the Iraqi people to say, ‘no more free lunches from the American public,’” Klein said. “It’s not some benefactor from the outside who just keeps writing more and more checks every month.” …
“This is just our notice to these guys we’re not going to carry the whole load anymore,” said Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, R-Calif. He’s proposed in the past requiring Iraq to repay all U.S. expenses since the invasion. “Morally I think they should, but that’s a whole other debate.” …
The U.S. auditor of Iraq reconstruction efforts said in a January report more Iraqi funds have been allocated for reconstruction than U.S. funds through 2007. While the United States was initially tasked with spending the Iraqi money — a reconstruction effort criticized for being ill-planned and seeing few results — responsibility shifted to the new Iraqi government, which has had a harder time, regularly spending only a small percentage of its multibillion-dollar capital budget. …

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