Bush Sends Supplemental Funding Request to Congress
By John D. Banusiewicz
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Feb. 17, 2006 President Bush submitted a request to Congress yesterday for $72.4 billion in supplemental funding to tackle the global war on terror and other ongoing international activities for the rest of the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.
The largest amount in the request, $65.3 billion, funds Defense Department's missions. The remaining $7.1 billion contains funding for the State Department, the intelligence community and other government agencies.
The supplemental request follows the fiscal 2007 budget request of $439.3 billion that went to Capitol Hill Feb. 6.
A White House statement announcing the request said Bush is committed to giving U.S. troops and commanders in the field the resources they need to fight and win the war on terror. "This request provides those resources, helps prepare our Iraqi and Afghan allies' security forces and governments to stand on their own and successfully combat insurgents, promotes democracy and provides emergency humanitarian relief," the statement said.
In his letter submitting the request to Congress, Bush said more than 35 Iraqi battalions already control their own areas of responsibility. "This request provides the resources necessary to continue that effort so the coalition can continue to hand over control of more territory to Iraqi forces," the president wrote. "In Afghanistan, our armed forces continue to track down terrorists, help the Afghan people rebuild their country, and train and equip Afghan security forces so that Afghanistan may continue to take control of its democratic future."
The request includes:
- $8.3 billion to refurbish or replace equipment worn out or damaged through use in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom;
- $2.6 billion to improve the force protection by deploying improved vehicle armor, night-vision equipment, sensor capabilities and helicopter-survivability systems;
- $937 million to field new capabilities to significantly improve the combat-force effectiveness;
- $3.4 billion to restructure the Army into more agile, self-sustaining units;
- $1.9 billion to buy, develop and sustain technologies critical to defeating the threat posed by improvised explosive devices;
- $1.5 billion for enhanced benefits for all military survivors. It also funds benefits for those injured in combat to ensure their immediate needs are addressed as they recuperate;
- $340 million for bonuses and incentive pay to ensure the Army and Marine Corps are able to achieve their recruiting and retention missions.
- $3.7 billion to continue moving the Iraqi security forces toward successful stand-alone operational capacity;
- $423 million to continue the Commander's Emergency Response Program in Iraq and Afghanistan that enables U.S. military commanders to respond to urgent, small-scale humanitarian relief and reconstruction needs in their area of responsibility;
- $1.6 billion for programs to support counterinsurgency and stabilization activities and help build civilian capabilities to ensure the transition to greater Iraqi self-reliance;
- $675 million to help strengthen Iraqi provincial governing capacity and improve political and economic stability through job creation and economic growth;
- $293 million to develop the Iraqi national government's capacity for better, more transparent, and more responsive operations;
- $642 million to help secure and sustain Iraq's critical essential services infrastructure so that Iraqis have confidence in their government's ability to provide essential services and to help ensure sufficient oil revenues to help maintain and grow their economy;
- $2.2 billion to further prepare Afghan security forces to operate without U.S. support;
- $66.1 million for State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development security costs and related needs;
- $193 million to support Afghanistan's fight against the illicit drug trade;
- $3.4 million to help Afghanistan manage the return of refugees resulting from the unanticipated closure of certain refugee camps in Pakistan;
- $32 million to fund critical components of Afghanistan's northern power grid as part of an international effort to upgrade Kabul's generation and transmission systems;
- $11 million to finance the forgiveness of Afghanistan's $108 million pre-Taliban debt to the U.S. through the Paris Club process, part of a joint agreement by Germany, the U.S. and Russia to remove a pre-Taliban debt burden totaling more than $10 billion;
- $75 million to the State Department for increased outreach with new satellite broadcasting and enhanced radio and television broadcasts, and increased democracy promotion, cultural and educational programs, and public diplomacy.
- More than $500 million for emergency humanitarian and peacekeeping needs in Sudan and the Darfur crisis in Africa, including food aid, and $125 million to address other growing food emergencies mainly on that continent, and $24 million to assist refugees including the return of more than 100,000 refugees to Liberia; and
- $126 million for humanitarian relief and reconstruction efforts following the devastating earthquake in Pakistan.
News reports indicate that Congress will likely begin action on the request in about a month.