White House Rebuffs Criticism of $5B Antiterror Plan


Global Security Newswire Staff
See more stories about...
Global Security Newswire Staff
June 10, 2014, 10:25 a.m.

Obama of­fi­cials are fight­ing cri­ti­cism of their mult­i­bil­lion-dol­lar plan for shor­ing up an­ti­ter­ror­ism cap­ab­il­it­ies among U.S. part­ners, De­fense News re­ports.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­quest for Con­gress to cre­ate a $5 bil­lion “coun­terter­ror­ism part­ner­ships fund” promp­ted ex­pres­sions of de­ri­sion from a num­ber of GOP law­makers and in­siders in­volved in fed­er­al budget plan­ning, the pub­lic­a­tion said on Monday. One source said the White House is still con­sult­ing with the State and De­fense de­part­ments on how to choose state re­cip­i­ents of the po­ten­tial aid for com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism threats.

“The White House is co­ordin­at­ing a very in­form­al, very ad-hoc pro­cess to fig­ure out what in the hell this is,” the in­sider said, adding that the Pentagon and State De­part­ment may not have provided in­put on the pro­pos­al pri­or to its un­veil­ing last month.

White House spokes­man Ed­ward Price dis­puted that as­ser­tion.

“The idea for this fund evolved out of months of co­ordin­a­tion from across seni­or levels of de­part­ments and agen­cies,” said Price, head of stra­tegic com­mu­nic­a­tions for the Na­tion­al Se­cur­ity Coun­cil.

The spokes­man dis­missed as “ab­so­lutely false” a sug­ges­tion that the ini­ti­at­ive could set off a scramble for an­ti­ter­ror­ism-as­sist­ance dol­lars by com­pet­ing fed­er­al agen­cies.

“This pro­gram is en­vi­sioned to build upon the ex­cel­lent co­oper­a­tion between State and De­fense,” Price ar­gued.

He ad­ded that the plan “would in­cor­por­ate ex­ist­ing tools and au­thor­it­ies.” Some crit­ics have said it was un­cer­tain wheth­er ap­pro­pri­at­ors could fund the pro­posed plan through ex­ist­ing stat­utory mech­an­isms, rather than abid­ing by the ad­min­is­tra­tion’s call to provide the aid as part of its re­quest for “over­seas con­tin­gency op­er­a­tions” in fisc­al 2015.

What We're Following See More »
GOP Budget Chiefs Won’t Invite Administration to Testify
1 days ago

The administration will release its 2017 budget blueprint tomorrow, but the House and Senate budget committees won’t be inviting anyone from the White House to come talk about it. “The chairmen of the House and Senate Budget committees released a joint statement saying it simply wasn’t worth their time” to hear from OMB Director Shaun Donovan. Accusing the members of pulling a “Donald Trump,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said the move “raises some questions about how confident they are about the kinds of arguments that they could make.”

Snowstorm Could Impact Primary Turnout
21 hours ago

A snowstorm is supposed to hit New Hampshire today and “linger into Primary Tuesday.” GOP consultant Ron Kaufman said lower turnout should help candidates who have spent a lot of time in the state tending to retail politicking. Donald Trump “has acknowledged that he needs to step up his ground-game, and a heavy snowfall could depress his figures relative to more organized candidates.”

A Shake-Up in the Offing in the Clinton Camp?
16 hours ago

Anticipating a primary loss in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Hillary and Bill Clinton “are considering staffing and strategy changes” to their campaign. Sources tell Politico that the Clintons are likely to layer over top officials with experienced talent, rather than fire their staff en masse.

Trump Is Still Ahead, but Who’s in Second?
3 hours ago

We may not be talking about New Hampshire primary polls for another three-and-a-half years, so here goes:

  • American Research Group’s tracking poll has Donald Trump in the lead with 30% support, followed by Marco Rubio and John Kasich tying for second place at 16%. On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders leads Hillary Clinton 53%-41%.
  • The 7 News/UMass Lowell tracking poll has Trump way out front with 34%, followed by Rubio and Ted Cruz with 13% apiece. Among the Democrats, Sanders is in front 56%-40%.
  • A Gravis poll puts Trump ahead with 28%, followed by Kasich with 17% and Rubio with 15%.