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Pentagon To Seek $100 Billion More For War Costs
Los Angeles Times - December 14, 2005 - By Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is in the early stages of drafting a request for up to $100 billion more for military costs in Iraq and Afghanistan, lawmakers say, a figure that would push spending related to the wars toward half a trillion dollars.
Reps. C.W. "Bill" Young (R-Fla.), the chairman of the House Appropriations subcommittee on defense, and John P. Murtha of Pennsylvania, the senior Democrat on that panel, say the military has informally told them it wants $80 billion to $100 billion in a war-spending package that the White House is expected to send Congress next year.
That would be in addition to $50 billion Congress is about to give the Pentagon for operations in Iraq for the beginning of 2006. Military commanders expect that sum to last through May.
Since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Congress has approved more than $300 billion for Iraq and Afghanistan, including military operations, reconstruction, security and aid, as well as other costs related to the U.S.-declared war on terrorism, according to the Congressional Research Service, which writes reports for Congress.
Murtha mentioned a $100-billion figure for the spending package to reporters last week, saying: "Twenty years it's going to take to settle this thing. The American people are not going to put up with it, can't afford it."
The service branches recently presented their funding requests to top Pentagon officials.