President George W. Bush will soon seek about $100 billion in additional emergency funds for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a report on Wednesday by Democratic staffers for two key panels in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Such a large request would mark a rapid escalation in the cost of the Iraq war at a time when public support is plummeting and Bush is looking for new answers to stem violence that threatens to spin out of control.
In a broad report criticizing Republicans' fiscal decisions, Democratic staffers on the House Appropriations Committee and House Budget Committee also noted that Congress already had appropriated about $379 billion for the war in Iraq.
[..]The $100 billion, if submitted and approved by Congress next year, would be in addition to the record $447 billion the Pentagon is receiving this fiscal year for all military operations.
The House Democrats' report, titled "The Republican Legacy: Bad Budgeting Creates Burdens For Years To Come," said that despite significant increases in the Pentagon's budget, "The war in Iraq has left the U.S. Army's readiness at its lowest level in decades."
"Republicans have spent years handing out billions upon billions of dollars in tax cuts to millionaires while shortchanging our national priorities," said Democratic Rep. David Obey of Wisconsin, the new chairman of the House Appropriations Committee.
"It is going to take us years to get back on track."