Muftic’s column missed point of ‘appropriation’


To the Editor:

Ms. Muftic wrote in her article that Obama “authorized” funds to help West, Texas. Ms. Muftic’s statement only addresses one-half of the federal funding process, authorization. Two operative verbs exist for federal funding: authorize and appropriate. In fact both the Senate and the House of Representatives possess an Authorization Committee and an Appropriation Committee. Only the Congress may appropriate funds for expenditure. In the past, the Appropriation Committees have not appropriated sufficient funds to pay for all line items that the Authorization Committees authorized. Please allow me provide an example with which I have personal experience.

While I was assigned to the Pentagon, Congress authorized sufficient body armor for every military service member, but they only appropriated sufficient funds for one set of body armor for every third service member (i.e. 1 out of 3). That is why I had to vector body armor from units in Europe, Korea, and U.S. to outfit all the soldiers and marines who entered Iraq in 2003. Now, I will return to the subject of my letter.

As she wrote Obama “authorized” funds, but he may not appropriate funds. To date, the citizens of West have not received any of the federal relief funds that Obama authorized. I conjecture that the citizens of West only ask that the Federal Government treat all of us equally: Why should poorer states receive relief, and not those states who better manage their budget?

Terrell Mathews


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