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Bush Welcomes Funds for Iraq, Afghanistan


Bush Welcomes Approval of Funds for Iraq, Afghanistan

Senate vote November 3 is final step in passage of $87.5 billion bill

President Bush welcomed final congressional approval of legislation to provide $87.5 billion to support security operations and rebuilding efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and said he would sign the bill.

The Senate completed action on the bill November 3, following House passage October 31. Most of the money is for the current fiscal year that began October 1.

The legislation largely conforms to the totals Bush requested in September. It provides $65.750 billion for continuing U.S. military operations and national security-related matters in Iraq and Afghanistan, up slightly from the total sought by the president.

It provides $18.649 billion for Iraq reconstruction, $1.7 billion below the administration request, and $1.2 billion for Afghanistan reconstruction.

Following is the text of the president's statement on final passage of the bill:

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Crawford, Texas)
November 3, 2003

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

I commend Congress for providing vital funds to support our mission and our troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere. These resources, coupled with the growing assistance of international donors, will provide essential support to make Iraq more secure and to help the Iraqi people transition to self-government. The funds will also enable us to continue our efforts to help Afghanistan become a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous nation that contributes to regional stability.

Our country is being tested. Those who seek to kill coalition forces and innocent Iraqis want America and its coalition partners to run so the terrorists can reclaim control. The strong bipartisan show of support for this bill underscores that America and the world are united to prevail in the central front in the War on Terror by helping build a peaceful, democratic, and prosperous Iraq.

I thank Chairmen Stevens and Young for their efforts and look forward to signing this bill.


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