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06 May 2004

Bush Asks Congress for Additional $25 Billion for Defense

Says money needed as demands on troops increase

President Bush is asking Congress to establish a $25 billion contingency reserve fund to meet additional demands on troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as those serving elsewhere in support of the global war against terrorism.

"We must make sure there is no disruption in funding and resources for our troops," President Bush said in a statement issued by the White House May 5.

The administration cannot predict specifically the costs for military operations next year, he said, but he wants to ensure that U.S. troops have sufficient resources for their missions.

As the administration has stated previously, the president said in his written statement, "we will pursue a full FY (Fiscal Year) 2005 supplemental request when we can better estimate precise costs."

Following is the text of the Bush statement:

(begin text)

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
May 5, 2004

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

This morning, Secretary Rumsfeld and I discussed recommendations from our commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan about additional resources that they may require.

While we do not know the precise costs for operations next year, recent developments on the ground and increased demands on our troops indicate the need to plan for contingencies. We must make sure there is no disruption in funding and resources for our troops.

I am requesting that Congress establish a $25 billion contingency reserve fund for the coming fiscal year to meet all commitments to our troops and to make sure we succeed in these critical fronts in the war on terror. As my administration has previously said, we will pursue a full FY (Fiscal Year) 2005 supplemental request when we can better estimate precise costs.

Our troops in Iraq are performing superbly in their efforts to help the Iraqi people realize a free and peaceful future. I have pledged to our troops that they will have all the resources they need to get the job done, and I look forward to working with Congress on this high priority.

(end text)