U.S. Embassy in Iraq [October 10, 2007]   [open pdf - 64KB]

"Concerns about the U.S. Embassy in Iraq have surfaced regarding the potential rising cost, delay in opening, quality of construction, and reported assertions of trafficking-like labor practices by First Kuwaiti General Trade and Contracting Company, the primary builder of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. On October 4, 2007, the Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Representative Tom Lantos, sent questions to Deputy Secretary of State, John Negroponte, regarding concerns about the embassy construction defects, possible increasing costs, and delays. Construction costs for the U.S. Embassy in Iraq have been met through supplemental appropriations. Embassy operations also have been met primarily through supplemental appropriations, with some embassy operation funding provided by the regular appropriation process. This year, the Bush Administration's FY2008 budget request includes $65 million for base funding for operations in Iraq. In addition, the Administration requested $823.9 million for mission operations in an FY2007 supplemental request and another $1.9 million for mission operations in an FY2008 emergency request. On May 24, 2007, Congress passed a compromise supplemental appropriation (H.R. 2206), which the President signed into law (P.L. 110-28) on May 25. The enacted law included $750 million for State Department operations in Iraq. As recently as September 2007, the Department of State claimed that the $592 million from a previous emergency supplemental appropriation (H.R. 1268/P.L. 109- 13), signed into law on May 11, 2005, was all that was needed for construction of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad. In addition, administration officials claimed that completion of the embassy was still expected soon. This report will be updated as information becomes available."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RS21867
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