Gates & Clinton Lobby Senators to Approve War Funding Supplemental

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are appearing before the Senate Appropriations Committee today in support of President Obama’s $83.4 billion war supplemental bill.  Mr. Gates pressed members to “quickly approve” the request “for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and for aid to Pakistan,” Reuters reports.

Gates told lawmakers that money used to support Pakistan, Afghanistan’s neighbor which is facing a surging Taliban presence, could run out by mid-May and some funds for other operations could start running out in July.

"I urge you to take up this bill and pass it as quickly as possible, but not later than Memorial Day (May 25)," Gates told the Senate Appropriations Committee, which is considering the Obama administration’s request.

Some tidbits on the funding request per the above article and official remarks linked below:

  • about $76 billion is for the military
  • $38 billion of the money is for maintaining forces in Iraq and Afghanistan
  • $11.6 billion would be used to replace or repair equipment needed for the wars (includes money to replace lost aircraft with four F-22 fighter planes)
  • $9.8 billion for force protection, which includes, among other things, money for lightweight body armor, surveillance capabilities
  • $2.7 billion for sustainment, retrofit upgrades, and new procurement of 1,000 MRAP All Terrain Vehicles to meet the latest requirements in Afghanistan
  • $3.6 billion to expand and improve the Afghan National Security Forces
  • $1.5 billion to continue to deal with the threat posed by Improvised Explosive Devices
  • $500 million for the Commander’s Emergency Response Program (CERP)
  • $1.6 billion for wounded warrior care and programs to improve the quality
    of life for our troops and their families
  • includes more than $400 million for counterinsurgency assistance for the Pakistani military as well as $1.4 billion in economic aid for Islamabad

You can read the opening remarks from Secretary Gates here and Secretary Clinton here.

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