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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Feb-14-05 07:07 PM
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* Sending $82 Bln War Spending Plan to Congress
Not sure if already posted, didn't see in LBN. Mod's, I consider the bullets as one paragraph, hope that is OK. I added spaces for clarity.


Bush Sending $82 Bln War Spending Plan to Congress

By Adam Entous

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Bush sent Congress on Monday an $82 billion package to fund military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, pushing the total bill for both conflicts to nearly $300 billion and the budget deficit to a record high. The emergency request includes $74.9 billion for the Defense Department. The rest will be used to boost aid to the Palestinians, to reward war on terrorism allies Pakistan and Poland, and to fund reconstruction efforts in Asian nations devastated by the December tsunami. "I urge the Congress to move quickly," Bush said.

The major initiatives in the package include:

* $5.7 billion to accelerate the training and equipping of Iraqi security forces to combat a deadly insurgency that continues almost two years after the 2003 invasion. Bush said the extra money is so Iraqis "can assume greater responsibility for their own security and our troops can return home," though he set no timetable.

* $2 billion to combat the drug trade and boost reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan.

* $660 million for construction of a U.S. Embassy complex in Baghdad.

* $950 million to cover the cost of humanitarian relief and reconstruction efforts in Asian nations devastated by December's tsunami, a $600 million increase.

* $400 million in aid to nations that have sent troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, rewarding them for taking "political and economic risks."

* $200 million in aid for the Palestinians. Bush has promised another $150 million in his fiscal 2006 budget. Officials left open the possibility of providing a portion of the aid directly to the Palestinian Authority.

* $60 million to aid Ukraine and its new president.

Bush's $82 billion request will push funding for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan to a record $105 billion for fiscal year 2005 alone, including $25 billion in emergency spending already approved.
The new money will supplement the Pentagon budget, which totals more than $400 billion.

At nearly $300 billion, the total for Iraq and Afghanistan is almost half what the United States spent for the entire Vietnam War, in 2005 dollars.

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