Burning through money in Iraq


Geraldine Sealey
April 21, 2004 7:59PM (UTC)

The Bush administration won't say how much it will cost to fund the Iraq operation next year -- beyond the $87 billion Congress approved last year -- and the president refuses to submit a budget request until after the November election.

But now we learn that more money -- lots more -- will be needed soon, and members of both parties are calling the White House irresponsible for putting off the discussion of what the troops need.

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The Washington Post's piece on this today says: "Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.), vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, charged that the president is playing political games by postponing further funding requests until after the election, to try to avoid reopening debate on the war's cost and future."

"Weldon described the administration's current defense budget request as 'outrageous' and 'immoral' and said that at least $10 billion is needed for Iraqi operations over the next five months."

"... Rep. Chet Edwards (D-Tex.), who returned from Iraq on March 23, said senior Army officers and contractors told him 'serious problems' will surface this summer if Congress does not approve more spending by June. Without the additional funding, food concession contracts will have to be renegotiated and operations and training bases in the United States will have to be cannibalized to finance operations in Iraq. 'If one American soldier in Iraq loses his life because Congress and the administration were afraid of the political consequences of another supplemental appropriations bill, shame on everyone who should be a part of that process,' Edwards said."


Geraldine Sealey

Geraldine Sealey is senior news editor at Salon.com.

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