Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bush to ask Congress for extra 50 bln usd for Iraq - report

WASHINGTON (Thomson Financial) - US President George W Bush plans to ask Congress for an extra 50 bln usd for Iraq following a highly anticipated report on progress in the war-torn country next month, US media reported.

The request would seek to pay for the current troop 'surge' strategy and is a sign that Bush anticipates prevailing in a showdown with the Democratic-controlled Congress which has been pushing for troop withdrawal, the Washington Post said.

If approved, the bid would bring US spending on the Iraq war to more than three billion dollars per week.

The formal request is to be delivered following Army General David Petraeus' and Ambassador Ryan Crocker's report to Congress on September 15 about military and political developments in Iraq particularly since the new strategy took effect.

The 50 bln usd would be in addition to the 460 bln in the fiscal 2008 defense budget and 147 bln usd in a pending supplemental bill to fund the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

'We haven't seen the details, but we'll give it the scrutiny it deserves,' said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.......

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