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Congress Passes War Spending Bill

$79 billion for war and terror-fighting 

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Dateline: 04/12/03

In a rare Saturday session, the U.S. Congress has approved an emergency spending bill allocating $79 billion to fund wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, reward America's allies in those conflicts, strengthen anti-terrorism and assist failing airlines.

The Emergency Wartime Supplemental Appropriations Act was passed Saturday by the House on a voice vote, after being approved 93-0 by the Senate on April 3.

In a statement released shortly after final passage President Bush said the bill "includes the resources necessary to win the war and help secure enduring freedom and democracy for the Iraqi people."

Specifically, the bill allocates:

  • $62 billion -- to cover the costs of fighting wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of the total $62 billion, only $16 billion can be used at the discretion of President Bush. Expenditures from the balance will require congressional oversight.
  • $2.5 billion -- to be used as "seed" money for the post-war restoration of Iraq. Use of these funds will require congressional oversight.
  • $369 million -- to provide food to Iraq.
  • $8 billion -- to reward key allies, including $1 billion for Turkey as well as funds for Jordan, Egypt, Afghanistan, Israel and Pakistan.
  • $3.5 billion -- to U.S. airlines that suffered lost business due to the Iraq war. The bill also extended unemployment benefits for displaced aviation industry workers.
  • $4 billion -- to beef-up homeland security, including $2.2 billion for local governments to help defray the costs of sending police and firefighters to terrorist threats.
  • $100 million -- to help states pay for civilian smallpox vaccination programs, including $42 million to compensate volunteers who become ill due to the vaccinations.
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