Bush outlines war spending plans

President Bush today will ask Congress to approve $74.7 billion in fiscal 2003 supplemental funding to pay for the war with Iraq.

The request includes $62.6 billion to finance the direct costs of combat. The White House said yesterday it expects to spend roughly $6.5 billion on R&D and procurement of technologies and weapons, $16 billion on personnel and support, and the bulk of the funding'$40 billion'on military operations.

The president is expected to unveil his spending plan this morning during a speech at the Pentagon.

'We can't fund our regular operations if we don't get this money,' said a senior Defense Department official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The remaining $12.1 billion of the emergency request will go to the departments of Homeland Defense and State, White House officials said. Most of the money would go to post-war reconstruction efforts in Iraq and the region.

Bush is asking Congress to act on the supplemental measure by April 11, before lawmakers recess for a two-week congressional holiday.

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