Gates testifies on supplemental war funding and said the president plans to ask Congress to fund operations in the war on terror with an additional $42 billion in fiscal 2008, according to the American Forces Press Service. The request brings the total supplement for fiscal 2008 to $190 billion.
“I urge the Congress to approve the complete global war on terror request as quickly as possible and without excessive and counterproductive restrictions,” Gates said, in a statement. “That will help the department manage its expenses and people more effectively and minimize costly reprogramming actions.”
Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte; Marine Gen. Peter Pace, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; and Defense Department Comptroller Tina W. Jonas along with Gates testified before the committee.
The Defense Department asked for $141.7 billion for war on terror operations in February and in July asked for another $5.3 billion to buy mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles.
On numerous occasions during the hearing, anti-war groups interrupted the testimony forcing the committee chairman to clear the hearing room.
In his closing remarks Gates acknowledged the politics at stake when asking for more funding in a politically unpopular war.
“I know that Iraq and other difficult choices America faces in the war on terror will continue to be a source of friction within the Congress, between the Congress and the president, and in the wider public debate,” Gates said.