Wire: Obama to Seek $83.4 Billion Supplemental War Funding
Off the Wire:
WASHINGTON, April 9, 2009 -- Newswires reported late this afternoon that President Barack Obama is seeking $83.4 billion for U.S. military and diplomatic operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, pressing for special troop funding that he opposed two years ago when he was senator and George W. Bush was president.
The Associated Press reported that Obama's request, including money to send thousands more U.S. troops to Afghanistan, would push the costs of the two wars to almost $1 trillion since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, according to the Congressional Research Service.
The additional funds would cover operations into the fall, AP noted.
Obama is also requesting $400 million to upgrade security along the U.S.-Mexico border and to combat narco-terrorists.
AP also reported that White House press secretary Robert Gibbs acknowledged that Obama has been highly critical of Bush's use of similar special legislation to pay for the wars.
The outlines of the request were provided in documents presented at a closed-door congressional briefing, AP reported.
According to the documents, which were obtained by AP, the request would fund an average force level in Iraq of 140,000 U.S. troops. It would also finance Obama's initiative to boost troop levels in Afghanistan to more than 60,000 from the current 39,000. And it would provide $2.2 billion to accelerate the Pentagon's plans to increase the overall size of the U.S. military, including a 547,400-person active-duty Army.
This is a developing story.
(Report from newswire sources.)
Source: Obama to seek $83.4 billion for Iraq, Afghan wars
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