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 »
With three days until the first debate, the polls are coming fast and furious. The latest round:
- An Associated Press/Gfk poll of registered voters found very few voters committed, with Clinton leading Trump, 37% to 29%, and Gary Johnson at 7%.
- A McClatchy-Marist poll gave Clinton a six-point edge, 45% to 39%, in a four-way ballot test. Johnson pulls 10% support, with Jill Stein at 4%.
- Rasmussen, which has drawn criticism for continually showing Donald Trump doing much better than he does in other polls, is at it again. A new survey gives Trump a five-point lead, 44%-39%.
In contrast to Hillary Clinton's meticulous debate practice sessions, Donald Trump "is largely shunning traditional debate preparations, but has been watching video of…Clinton’s best and worst debate moments, looking for her vulnerabilities.” Trump “has paid only cursory attention to briefing materials. He has refused to use lecterns in mock debate sessions despite the urging of his advisers. He prefers spitballing ideas with his team rather than honing them into crisp, two-minute answers.”
Donald Trump "is on the precipice of becoming the only major-party presidential candidate this century not to reach out to millions of American voters whose dominant, first or just preferred language is Spanish. Trump has not only failed to buy any Spanish-language television or radio ads, he so far has avoided even offering a translation of his website into Spanish, breaking with two decades of bipartisan tradition."
Bill and Hillary Clinton have purchased the home next door to their primary residence in tony Chappaqua, New York, for $1.16 million. "By purchasing the new home, the Clinton's now own the entire cul-de-sac at the end of the road in the leafy New York suburb. The purchase makes it easier for the United States Secret Service to protect the former president and possible future commander in chief."