WASHINGTON, March 31 (UPI) -- A Congressional Research Service analysis says the Pentagon has enough money available to finance U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan through most of July.
That conflicts with the Pentagon's own estimates. The Defense Department said funding would begin to run out April 15, but U.S. Senate and House of Representatives negotiators won't meet to resolve differences between the two versions of the emergency war-funding appropriation until April 16, CNN reported Saturday.
Marine Gen. Peter Pace, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has told Congress if the Pentagon doesn't get $100 billion in war funding by April 15, the Army would have to cut back training, equipment repair and other initiatives.
The non-partisan report acknowledged that if additional funding were delayed, "the Army may very well decide that it must slow down its non-war-related operations before money would run out." However, the report said Congress has given the Pentagon enough flexibility to shift funding and finance the war with current appropriations "through most of July 2007."
The Senate bill sets a non-binding goal of March 2008; the House imposes a binding deadline of September 2008. President Bush has said he would veto the spending bill if it included a withdrawal date.