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Bush Signs Bill Funding War on Terror

By Sgt. Sara Wood, USA
American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Sept. 30, 2006 – President Bush yesterday signed into law H.R. 5631, the "Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2007," which appropriates the funds needed to fight the war on terror, advance other U.S. interests abroad, and support the armed forces.

The bill includes an additional $70 billion in emergency funds to pay for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan through early next year, including nearly $24 billion for the Army and Marine Corps to repair and replace worn-out equipment. The new funding brings to $507 billion the total amount authorized by Congress for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and other anti-terrorism efforts.

The bill provides $378 billion for core Pentagon programs, about a 5 percent increase, though slightly less than Bush sought.

In a statement yesterday, Bush noted that the act prohibits the use of funds to initiate a special access program or a new start program, unless the congressional defense committees receive advance notice. In most situations this advance notice can be provided, he said, but in certain situations, especially during wartime, the president must act promptly under his constitutional grants of executive power and authority while protecting sensitive national security information.

The act provides that, notwithstanding any other provision of law, no funds available to DoD for fiscal year 2007 may be used to transfer defense articles or services, other than intelligence services, to another nation or an international organization for international peacekeeping, peace enforcement, or humanitarian assistance operations, until 15 days after the executive branch notifies six committees of the Congress of the planned transfer, Bush said. If the protection of the U.S. military deployed for international peacekeeping, peace enforcement, or humanitarian assistance operations requires action of that kind sooner, the executive branch will act consistent with the president's constitutional authority, he said.

The executive branch shall construe section 8093 of the act, relating to integration of foreign intelligence information, in a manner consistent with the president's constitutional authority, Bush said. Also, the executive branch shall construe sections 8095 and 8101 of the act, which purport to prohibit the president from altering command and control relationships within the armed forces, as advisory, as any other construction would be inconsistent with the president’s constitutional authority, he said.

Before signing the bill into law yesterday, Bush said, “I applaud Congress for passing legislation that will provide our men and women in uniform with the necessary resources to protect our country and win the war on terror. As our troops risk their lives to fight terrorism, this bill will ensure they are prepared to defeat today's enemies and address tomorrow's threats.”

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