Coming up

Don't miss




Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015.

Read more


Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

Read more


2014-07-11 21:47 AFRICA NEWS

Read more


Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more


The World This Week - 11 July 2014 (part 2)

Read more


The World This Week - 11 July 2014

Read more

#THE 51%

Sweden: A Feminist's Paradise?

Read more


Politics: parties under pressure

Read more


In Burma, the rise of radical Buddhism

Read more

  • UN Security Council calls for Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire

    Read more

  • Holland beat hosts Brazil 3-0 to finish third in World Cup

    Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidates agree to full vote audit, Kerry says

    Read more

  • France’s Kadri wins eighth stage at Tour de France

    Read more

  • Legal challenge to French mayor’s ban of Muslim hijab on beach

    Read more

  • Last of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, dies aged 62

    Read more

  • Video: Outrage in wake of deadly Casablanca buildings collapse

    Read more

  • Iraqi forces ‘executed prisoners in reprisal’ for ISIS killings

    Read more

  • Ukraine promises retaliation after rebel assault

    Read more

  • Putin revives old Cuban flame and eyes Latin American minerals

    Read more

  • Amazon snubs French free delivery ban with one-cent charge

    Read more

  • Cleveland's NBA fans hail 'return of king' LeBron James

    Read more

  • Exclusive: an unlikely victim of the 'War on Terror'

    Read more

  • Magnitude 6.8 quake, small tsunami hit east Japan

    Read more

  • Suspect in Brussels Jewish Museum shooting drops extradition appeal

    Read more

US Senate approves new Iraq war funds


Latest update : 2008-05-23

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.


WASHINGTON - The U.S. Senate on Thursday approved an additional $165 billion to wage war in Iraq and Afghanistan for another year after lawmakers blocked proposed timetables for withdrawing American troops from Iraq.


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 U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of 2009.


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 U.S. troops at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, repeated his opposition to Congress setting troop withdrawal schedules or other conditions on the Pentagon.


"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 Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. Most of the money has gone for the unpopular war in Iraq.


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 Iraq, much of that for payments to contractors.


Besides the war funding, the Senate also attached expensive expansions of U.S. unemployment benefits and help for war veterans who want to get a college education. Bush opposes those measures, as well as other domestic spending included by the Senate.


Noting that Bush has asked for money to continue rebuilding Iraq and for other foreign aid projects, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Robert Byrd, a West Virginia Democrat, said, "But the president says he will veto the bill if we add funding for bridges in Birmingham or for help with the high cost of energy bills in Maine or to fight crime in U.S. towns..."


The two Democratic presidential candidates, Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York and Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois, interrupted their campaigns to cast votes against the war money. They voted for expanding veterans' benefits and more jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed in the United States.


In a floor speech, Obama, who has a nearly insurmountable lead in the Democratic race, attacked Sen. John McCain of Arizona, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, who was not present to vote.


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 Iraq and Afghanistan wars pay for their college educations.


McCain backs a less extensive version of the veterans education bill.


Clinton, noting lawmakers' penchant for giving speeches about supporting U.S. troops, also argued for the expanded veterans benefits. "The real test isn't the speeches we deliver but whether or not we deliver on the speeches," Clinton said.


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 Iraq for a full year, Congress would avoid another war-funding debate closer to the November presidential and congressional elections.


It also would give the new president, who takes office next January, time to come up with his or her plans for the Iraq war, which is now in its sixth year.

Date created : 2008-05-22