Bush may seek $110B more to fund wars

July 13, 2006 at 6:53 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 13 (UPI) -- The White House might ask the U.S. Congress for another $110 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan early next year.

The $110 billion figure includes a fiscal 2007 supplemental request in the $60 billion range, followed by another $50 billion "bridge fund" as part of the regular fiscal 2008 budget to fund military operations through the first part of that fiscal year according to the Bush administration's annual "mid-session" budget review released Tuesday and reported by CongressDaily Wednesday

The review is only a rough estimate of anticipated war-related spending. However, it tracks with funding levels appropriated during the last few fiscal years, CongressDaily said.

The $110 billion request would boost military spending in Iraq and Afghanistan to about $560 billion since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, with associated foreign aid pushing that figure closer to $600 billion, the report said.

Earlier this year as part of its fiscal 2007 budget submission, the administration for the first time included an allowance for an initial $50 billion installment to pay for the wars. But inclusion of future anticipated war costs in preliminary budget estimates is unprecedented for the Bush administration, and is the result of prodding by senior Republicans like Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee, CongressDaily said.

Including the fiscal 2006 supplemental and fiscal 2007 bridge fund, for example, Congress during the current fiscal year will have enacted about $116 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"This is the first time we've projected these costs this far in advance, and looking this far ahead, I will tell you, is very difficult. There's a lot of uncertainty involved in it," Office of Management and Budget Director Rob Portman told reporters.

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