Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Bush Asks Congress For $46B More for Wars


Associated Press

October 23, 2007

WASHINGTON — The war in Iraq is costing about $10billion a month — more than $455 billion over more than four years of fighting. President Bush, setting the stage for another bruising battle with Congress, asked lawmakers yesterday to keep bankrolling the war in Iraq and the fighting in Afghanistan with a request for $46 billion. He pressed Congress to approve the money by Christmas.

"The colossal cost of this war grows every day — in lives lost, dollars spent, and to our reputation around the world," the House speaker, Rep. Nancy Pelosi, said. "The American people long ago rejected the president's planned 10-year occupation of Iraq and want the administration to provide a concrete plan to bring our troops home.

Announcing his latest request, Mr. Bush alluded to the nation's disenchantment with the war, which has claimed the lives of more than 3,830 members of the American military and more than 73,000 Iraqi civilians.

Yesterday's proposal brings to $196.4 billion the total requested for operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere for the budget year that started October 1. It includes $189.3 billion for the Defense Department, $6.9 billion for the State Department and $200 million for other agencies. The White House originally sought $141.7 billion for the Pentagon to prosecute the Iraq and Afghanistan missions, then asked for $5.3 billion more in July. Mr. Bush's latest request includes another $42.3billion for the Pentagon.

For the State Department, Mr. Bush more than doubled his initial $3.3 billion request, adding $3.6 billion for a total of $6.9 billion. The updated request includes money for peacekeeping efforts in Darfur, battling drug trafficking in Latin America, fighting famine in Africa, assisting Iraqi refugees, and the Palestinian Arabs.

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