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US House approves $82 bn budget for Iraq, Afghan

06 May, 2005

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WASHINGTON, May 06 (Online): The US House of Representatives approved on Thursday 82 billion US dollars in emergency funding for wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The House passed the House-Senate compromise bill by a vote of 368-58, and the Senate is expected to approve the bill next week when it returns from a week-long recess. 

    The bulk of the money, 75.9 billion dollars, is allocated to USmilitary operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through the end of the2005 fiscal year ending Sept. 30, which would push the overall cost of combat and reconstruction efforts in the two countries, and the Pentagon's anti-terrorism operations worldwide, past 300 billion dollars.

    The bill contains 4.2 billion dollars for foreign aid and otherinternational relations programs, including 592 million dollars tobuild a new US Embassy in Baghdad; 680 million dollars for peacekeeping in Sudan, Haiti, and elsewhere; more than 250 milliondollars for economic assistance in the Palestinian territories andIsrael; and 250 million dollars in military assistance for Pakistan and Jordan.

    The bill also provides 656 million dollars for tsunami relief and 635 million for increased border security and enforcement in the United States, and includes provisions to prevent states from issuing driver's licenses to illegal immigrants and toughens asylum laws.


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