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Dorgan Wants To Withdraw Iraq Money

Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) said today that he wants $10 billion of U.S. funds that have been so far unpsent on Iraqi reconstruction rescinded, citing Iraq's ballooning budget surplus. Dorgan wants to use the money for domestic renewable energy production instead.

Dorgan said he plans to introduce the Iraq Self-Sufficiency and American Energy Independence Act when Congress returns. The bill would transfer the unspent reconstruction funds to the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy in the Department of Energy.

“Today, Americans are paying sky high prices for oil and gas, and at the same time the Bush Administration is continuing to spend billions of dollars a year for Iraq reconstruction even though that country has huge budget surpluses. That is a bankrupt strategy,” said Dorgan.

Dorgan's move ups a bid made yesterday by Minnesota Senate candidate Al Franken, who called for $7.1 billion in unspent funds to be rescinded and for Iraq to pay for its reconstruction from here on out. His bid had upped the ante on his Republican opponent, Sen. Norm Colemen (R-Minn.), who had called for $1.1 billion to be taken back.

Do we hear $15 billion? Going once, going twice...