President Bush requests another $200 billion for war funding

by Brooke Hart
NBC News

President Bush goes to National Defense University today, once again challenging Congress on a new round of war spending.

The President Monday upped his funding request for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to almost $200 billion this year, by far the largest annual tally since the wars began.

President Bush said, "We must provide our troops with the help and support they need to get the job done."

Much of the added spending would pay for new armored vehicles known as M-raps, designed to withstand roadside bombs

If approved it would bring total war costs to more than $800 billion.

Democrats are angry.  They called it borrowed money.

And they pointed to the vetoed Children's Health Insurance Bill as proof the President's priorities are misplaced.

Senator Harry Reid, Majority Leader, said "It's incredible that the President can ask for $200 billion, and not allow ten million children to be able to go to a doctor when they're sick."

The funding call came as al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden issued a new audiotape.

He called on insurgents in Iraq to bury their rivalries and unite against the U.S.-led coalition.
More than 160,000 U.S. troops are in Iraq, a major factor in the rising costs of the war.

President Bush wants his latest funding request approved by Christmas.  Democrats in Congress are in no rush.  Troops are funded for now, they say, and add that what Americans want is a plan to bring them home.