Just a few minutes ago

  1. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmp...=540&ncid=1480
    Bush Expected to Propose $75B War Budget
    8 minutes ago
    By ALAN FRAM, Associated Press Writer
    WASHINGTON - President Bush (news - web sites) is expected to ask Congress for about $75 billion to pay for the war with Iraq (news - web sites), assuming the war will last about 30 days, and to strengthen counterterrorism efforts at home, lawmakers and congressional aides said Monday.

    The money measure, which the president planned to describe to congressional leaders he invited to the White House, is dominated by $62.6 billion for the Department of Defense (news - web sites). It is based on an assumption that the U.S.-led effort to oust Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (news - web sites) takes 30 days of combat, said aides.
    The request was also expected to include up to $3 billion for domestic security, chiefly for police and other so-called first responders. And it will contain about $8 billion for aid to Israel, Afghanistan (news - web sites) and other U.S. allies, a down payment on humanitarian aid for Iraq and for rebuilding the country, and money to increase security for American diplomats.
    At Monday's meeting, Bush was expected to ask congressional leaders to send him a completed version of the bill by April 11, when lawmakers are scheduled to begin their Easter recess.
    Though lawmakers are eager to demonstrate their support for U.S. troops, Democrats and many Republicans are expected to have problems with parts of the proposal.
    Of the $62.6 billion for the Defense Department, the administration is proposing setting aside $59.9 billion in an emergency reserve fund that the Pentagon (news - web sites) could largely spend at its own discretion with limited input from Congress, said Democrats who said they were familiar with a preliminary version of the proposal.
    "We need to provide every single dime the troops need, but I do think we need to know where it's going and for what purpose," said Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, top Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee.
    Obey said that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld "wasn't appointed to be the U.S. Congress with the power of the purse. .... We're supposed to know what we're doing before we open the purse strings."
    Democrats were also expected to complain that Bush's request had only $500 million in humanitarian aid for Iraq and $1.7 billion to rebuild the country. Prior congressional and private estimates suggested the long-range expenses for both those efforts would be many times those amounts, though administration officials are hoping allied nations will help with the financing.
    Democrats said they were also unhappy that the measure lacks additional money for other domestic programs such as tightening security at U.S. ports, borders, dams and facilities that generate radioactive materials.
    Bush was preparing to send the Republican-controlled Congress his request just as lawmakers write a $2.2 trillion budget for 2004, which so far has excluded any funds for a war.
    Democrats have complained repeatedly that the fiscal framework-which controls new tax cuts proposed by Bush-cannot be written without knowing what the war will cost. Some Democrats believe the information might undercut support for Bush's proposed TAX REDUCTIONS.
    The administration had refused to provide its war estimate until now, arguing that there were too many uncertainties on the battlefield.
    The requested defense funds will include $10.4 billion for the call-up of Reserves and National Guard troops and extra salary paid to troops in combat, said one congressional aide speaking on condition of anonymity.
    Also included for the Pentagon will be $44.6 billion for operations and maintenance, and $6.5 billion for purchasing new munitions and for research and development.
    Foreign aid will include $1 billion in grants plus federal backing for up to $9 billion in guaranteed loans for Israel; $1.1 billion for Jordan; less than $1 billion for Egypt and other funds for countries including Oman and Bahrain.
    Afghanistan would get $400 million for humanitarian aid.
    The measure might contain $1 billion for Turkey, though those funds might be omitted from a final version of the bill. That country has balked at letting the United States base troops there for an invasion of Iraq from the north, but has allowed some U.S. use of its air space.
    The request will also include $500 million for the FBI (news - web sites), plus funds for the Coast Guard.
    So far, the administration has decided to exclude aid for U.S. airlines, which have been lobbying Congress for assistance to help make up for business lost because of terrorism and the war with Iraq.
    Among the chief proponents of such assistance has been House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., whose state is home to financially troubled United Airlines.
  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   Furball
    I don't understand Bush's tax plan at all.
  4. by   fergus51
    Me neither, but then, I don't understand a lot of the budget plans.... I just don't see how the government can take in less money, but spend a bunch more money on the Iraq thing.
  5. by   pickledpepperRN

    With our military poised to attack Iraq,the Republican Party is poised to devastate the budget of American veterans.
    By Kate McLaughlin

    Today the House of Representatives will vote on a resolution that if passed will devastate the Veterans Administration's budget and severely reduce its medical, disability, and benefit programs. On the verge of war in Iraq, the Republican Paty has placed in its cross-hairs American veterans from earlier wars.

    The Republican majority of the House Budget Committee is reducing President Bush's proposed budget by about $844 million in health care and an additional $463 million in benefit programs including disability compensation, vocational rehabilitation, education survivor's benefits, and pension programs from next year's budget. In addition to these cuts, the GOP is planning to cut $15 billion from the veteran programs over the next 10 years. The soldiers and sailors that are currently in harms way in the the Middle East, are about to have their future veterans' benefits and health care slashed. If, that is, the Republicans get their way.

    According to the Veterans Administration, 28 million veterans are currently using VA benefits and another 70 million Americans are potentially eligible for such programs, a quarter of the county's population. With the economy in a downward spiral and unemployment rising quickly, an increased number of veterans will be turning to the Veterans Administration for assistance. Yet, the VA budget is about to shrink.

    "As the nation expresses support for our soldiers and sailors on the verge of war in the Middle East, even from us who are deeply opposed to this unnecessary war," says Stewart Nusbaumer of Veterans Against Iraq War" (www.vaiw.org), the Republicans are expressing contempt by cutting the veterans budget."

    Nearly a third of the Gulf War veterans have submitted claims to the Veterans Administration for disability, this is about 209,000 veterans. Gulf War II may have as many or more requesting VA assistance, but with a Veterans Administration that will be smaller and with less resources.

    "This could mean the loss of 19,000 nurses, equating to the loss of 6.6 million outpatient visits or more than three-quarters of a million hospital bed days," says Edward Heath, National Commander of the Disabled American Veterans. "But that is not all of the devastation that will
    be caused by the proposed cuts. Congress will be reaching into the pockets of our nation's service-connected veterans, including combat disabled veterans, and robbing them and their survivors of a portion of their compensation. Ninety percent of VA's mandatory spending is from cash payments to service-connected disabled veterans, low-income wartime veterans, and their

    "Is there no shame?" Commander Heath asked.

    According to Congressman Lane Evens (D-IL), the ranking Democratic Member of the House Veteran's Affairs Committee, these cuts are picking up the slack for the controversial tax cuts, he stated. "These cuts must be made, so that our government can afford to provide a tax cut which will benefit only the wealthiest Americans, many of who never served in the military."

    "This is utterly humiliating to every veteran and every active duty service person. On the verge of war, the Republicans are stabbing veterans of earlier wars in the back."
    * * *
    Note: Kate McLaughlin served in the US Air Force and the Force Reserve. She is currently a full time student and is studiyng nursing.
  6. by   Lausana
    I heard somewhere last week that the war is costing about 1 billion a day...anyone know if that's still a correct figure? I didn't see that anywhere.
  7. by   rncountry
    Actually the problem is obvious. Laura Bush pays the bills and keeps the budget because obviously GW certainly couldn't balance a checkbook!
  8. by   Hardknox
    Good one, rncountry!:roll :chuckle :roll
  9. by   molecule
    I heard the request estimates a 30 day war; it contains some money for homeland defense, about 63$ billion for war, 500$ million for humanitarian aid and $1.something billion for reconstruction.... perhaps this is only a downpayment for the total costs.
    meanwhile the Bush tax plans cost 14$ trillion; this while the anticipated 'boomer' shortfalls for medicare and social security are estimated to be $6.something trillion and $3.something trillion [all figures 'actuarial'].
  10. by   pickledpepperRN
    Kept short. Click to see the President and read article only if you want to.
    Your opinion is valid.

    Senate reverses Bush tax cuts

    By Steve Schifferes
    BBC News Online in Washington
    In a surprising reversal, the Senate has reduced the size of proposed tax
    cuts by 50%.

    The plan to cut taxes by $726bn over the next 10 years is the centrepiece of the Bush
    administration's domestic agenda.