The US House of Representatives and the Senate have voted through 74.5 billion euros in new funding for the American military in Iraq and Afghanistan. It marks the end of a four month stand-off with President Bush over finances. He vetoed the bill last time because it was linked to a timetabled withdrawal of troops.
This time, the package was linked to more domestic money for childcare, hurricane reconstruction, and an increase in the minimum wage, but there was no stipulation of a military withdrawal. “We expect heavy fighting in the weeks and months. We can expect more American and Iraqi casualties. We must provide our troops with the funds they need to prevail,” Bush said.
So far, the financial cost of America’s war in Iraq is running at more than a third of a trillion euros. The human cost is more difficult to measure. As tens of thousands of troops try to control a country at war with itself, an opinion poll showed 76 per cent of Americans believe it is going badly for the US.
The Democrats in the House of Representatives say they will renew efforts to get US troops out with new legislation.