The US Senate has approved an additional $165 billion to pursue war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon says it urgently needs funds to avoid the interruption of soldiers' pay.
By a vote of 70-26, the Senate passed the new war money the Pentagon says it urgently needs to avoid civilian layoffs and the interruption of soldiers' paychecks within months.
The House of Representatives still must weigh in on the legislation. Last week, it passed a drastically different bill that failed to provide any new money for the wars and would withdraw
The House is likely to consider its next step in early June after lawmakers return from a week-long recess.
President George W. Bush, speaking to
"The United States Congress needs to pass a responsible war funding bill that does not tie the hands of our commanders," Bush said.
Assuming lawmakers ultimately give Bush the war funds he has requested, Congress will have appropriated more than $800 billion for combat in
As the Senate was debating the new war money, a House panel was looking into allegations that the Defense Department had failed to properly account for $15 billion in expenditures in
Besides the war funding, the Senate also attached expensive expansions of
Noting that Bush has asked for money to continue rebuilding
The two Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Hillary Clinton of
In a floor speech, Obama, who has a nearly insurmountable lead in the Democratic race, attacked Sen. John McCain of
Prefacing his remarks by saying he respected McCain's military service, Obama added, "But I can't understand why he would line up behind the president in opposition of this GI bill" to help veterans of the
McCain backs a less extensive version of the veterans education bill.
In approving the money for the wars just before the Memorial Day holiday, Democrats who control the Senate hoped to blunt Bush administration criticisms that Congress has been slow to provide money for the troops.
And in approving enough money to pay for the controversial war in
It also would give the new president, who takes office next January, time to come up with his or her plans for the
Date created : 2008-05-22