A Staggering New Bill For
By Jessica Holzer and Matthew Swibel
Thursday 09 November 2006
The U.S. armed services have requested a $160 billion supplemental appropriation to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan in the remainder of fiscal year 2007 - a staggering amount that, if approved by the Defense Department, may hasten the showdown between resurgent congressional Democrats and the Bush administration over the budget- busting War on Terror.
The request - which will likely include all costs related to the war on terrorism - far surpasses the $94 billion supplemental authorized earlier this year to fund the ongoing wars as well as hurricane recovery in the Gulf and is nearly double the $82 billion Iraq war supplemental outlay of 2005. It comes within days of Republicans' stunning losses in the midterm elections and the resignation of embattled Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, who was set to decide on the request Nov. 15.
President Bush said Wednesday that he would nominate as Rumsfeld's replacement Robert Gates, former head of the Central Intelligence Agency under the presidency of his father, George H.W. Bush.
While House Speaker-to-be Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has vowed not to undercut the troops in the field, defense experts said that she and other Democratic leaders probably hadn't anticipated the massive request.