Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 4, 2015

GOP Senators Ask If Bergdahl Swap Broke Spending Law

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Nine Republican appropriators are questioning whether the Pentagon ran afoul of a law that prevents spending funds without approval from Congress in the move to transfer five Taliban leaders to Qatar.

The letter, spearheaded by Thad Cochran of Mississippi, the top Republican on the Defense subcommittee, asks the Government Accountability Office to review the move for possible violations of the federal spending law known as the Antideficiency Act.

“We are writing to request your legal opinion regarding whether the Department of Defense (DOD) incurred obligations in violation of section 8111 of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2014 with regard to the transfer of five individuals from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the nation of Qatar,” the senators wrote in a letter to Comptroller General Gene Dodaro.

The transfer of the senior Taliban figures came about as part of the swap that freed Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl from Taliban custody in Afghanistan.

In addition to Cochran, the signatories are Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Appropriations ranking member Richard C. Shelby of Alabama, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Dan Coats of Indiana and Roy Blunt of Missouri.

“If, indeed, DOD’s obligation of appropriated funds runs afoul of section 8111, we also seek your legal opinion as to whether DOD has violated the Antideficiency Act,” the senators wrote.

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  1. Hugh Jass

    June 15, 2014
    5:44 a.m.

    Since Hussein Obama has occupied 1600 PA avenue, 7 out of every 8 jobs that have been “created” in the U.S. economy have been part-time jobs. Reference:


    June 19, 2014
    6:18 p.m.

    The Republican Party has shown a tremendous lack of common decency, and of human compassion, towards the three million unemployed Americans STILL without an unemployment extension bill, since late last December. They have intentionally thwarted the passing of that bill in the senate, for over the past six months. They have destined these poor families into financial ruin, which many might never be able to recover from. While they played their party politics, using the bill as a bargaining chip, and these unfortunate souls for political leverage, many families had to face evictions, home foreclosures, bankruptcy, and homelessness. These senators didn’t care, because they have their cushy jobs, with government perks. They don’t have to ever worry about retirement, school tuition, car notes, and such. They HAVE money, and are living that AMERICAN dream, which most of us will never see, Not a word is heard anymore from the senate or the news media about the bill, or the millions that are still suffering. Life seems to just go on for them. I hope that they realize that the elections are coming soon, and there are now at least, THREE MILLION ANGRY VOTERS who plan to vote for change.

  3. Anonymous

    11:26 a.m.

    You could certainly see your enthusiasm in the work you write. The world hopes for even more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always follow your heart.

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