Congress releases war funds to fight Ebola

Congress releases war funds to fight Ebola

(Abbas Dulleh/AP/File)

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Top lawmakers in the U.S. Congress have approved the use of leftover Afghanistan war money to fight Ebola in West Africa.

But a House Appropriations Committee spokeswoman said just $50 million of President Barack Obama's $1 billion request has been approved for immediate use under the opaque process by which top congressional panels approve transfers between agency accounts.

The final hurdle was the sign-off of Sen. James Inhofe, the top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He had protested that the Pentagon has provided virtually no details about the mission, which would send the military to Africa to help with the logistics of fighting the dangerous virus.

The rest of the money will be released after the Pentagon offers a detailed spending plan and briefs key Capitol Hill committees.

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