|10-26-2004, 04:11 PM||#1|
Angling in the Deep
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Texas Riviera, Southern Mountains
Bush To Ask For Another $75 Billion For Iraq
But after the election of course.
By Adam Entous
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Bush administration, faced with a growing insurgency and record fuel costs, plans early next year to seek $60 billion to $75 billion in emergency funding for military operations in Iraq (news - web sites) and Afghanistan (news - web sites), administration and congressional officials said on Tuesday.
The White House Office of Management and Budget said it was premature to discuss the size of the upcoming supplemental spending request, which would bring total U.S. funding for military operations and reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan to as much as $280 billion.
Officials acknowledged that rising fuel costs could add billions of dollars to the price tag in Iraq. World oil prices have skyrocketed 70 percent since the start of the year, in part because of the turmoil in Iraq.
The White House said President Bush (news - web sites), if re-elected on Nov. 2, would submit the funding request to the U.S. Congress in late January or early February, following a full assessment of the Pentagon (news - web sites)'s needs in the coming months.
White House officials initially said Bush could seek $60 billion in new funding for military operations, though actual outlays may be closer to $50 billion. But officials said the final package could grow to closer to $75 billion, and possibly more, if the anti-American insurgency intensifies and the United States is forced to send additional troops to Iraq.
"It's too early to be discussing amounts, but the figures will sustain current operations overseas," said Pentagon spokeswoman Rose-Ann Lynch.
The Pentagon is considering delaying the departure of some troops in Iraq and speeding the arrival of others already due to deploy to boost force levels for the January elections, officials said.
Democratic critics accused Bush and his top advisers of understating the costs to bolster support for war.
Before the invasion, then-White House budget director Mitch Daniels predicted Iraq would be "an affordable endeavor," and Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz assured Congress: "We are dealing with a country that can really finance its own reconstruction and relatively soon."
Yet so far, Congress has approved $120 billion for Iraq and another $60 billion for Afghanistan, according to White House estimates. On top of that, Congress has set up a $25 billion contingency fund for the Pentagon.
"This is the incredible price of going it almost alone in Iraq," Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry (news - web sites) said in Wisconsin. "How much more will the American people have to pay?"
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California blamed the administration's "poor planning," adding, "Incompetence has a cost."
Administration and congressional aides said the increase in funding comes in response in large part to the spreading insurgency in Iraq, where some doubt the security situation will allow voting across the country.
|10-27-2004, 01:11 AM||#2|
Mo' holla fo' yo' dolla!
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: In a bunker in an undisclosed location
The Cost of Bush's Lies and Failures
Now we're going to have to drop another $70 billion into Iraq. That's not $70 billion you or I will be paying anytime soon. It's $70 billion — plus interest — of new debt for our children and grandchildren, courtesy of the most fiscally irresponsible president in American history.
And why are we paying so much? There's the diplomatic incompetence that forced us to bear 90 percent of the costs of the Iraq war. There was the failure to plan for a post-war Iraq, which incurred incalculable costs by pitting our forces against an entrenched insurgency.
The failed leadership of President Bush is going to cost Americans for decades to come.
One final note. There had better be some money in this request for magical pixie dust that protects our troops from 760,000 pounds of high explosives.