The House also approved a floor amendment from Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-Minn.) that would bar U.S. reconstruction aid from going to firms from France, Russia, Germany and Syria. Kennedy said, "While I encourage other nations and multilateral organizations to be involved in the reconstruction of Iraq, I think that, when U.S. tax dollars are involved, we first ought to recognize the support of our friends in the coalition."
The House and Senate gave Bush the $62 billion he sought for the war, but the White House is objecting to funds both chambers added to help the struggling U.S. airline industry. The Office of Management and Budget called the House's $3.2-billion airline aid plan and the Senate's $3.5-billion provision "excessive."
The Senate bill includes the $2.4 billion Bush requested for rebuilding Iraq; the House version is $50 million higher.
The next step for the legislation is a House-Senate conference committee to reconcile differences between the two versions. Lawmakers are aiming to deliver the final, compromise version to Bush by April 11, the deadline he had set.he House and Senate have approved bills to fund the war in Iraq, along with reconstruction in that country and homeland security. The House version, which provides $78 billion, and the Senate bill, which totals about $1 billion more, were approved on April 3. Both measures exceed the $74.7 billion that President Bush requested.