Gates Asks Congress For Fast Action On War Funding

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is urging Congress to pass an $83.4 billion spending bill for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by Memorial Day.

He says the Pentagon will deplete its funding for Pakistan next month and money for U.S. operations will start running out in July.

Gates and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton testify before the Senate Appropriations Committee today.

While most of the spending bill is for military operations, more than $7.1 billion is for the State Department.

In remarks prepared for the hearing, Gates says there are "unique and urgent" circumstances regarding Pakistan and the challenges require both peacetime and wartime capabilities.

The proposed Pentagon aid to Pakistan includes a new $400 million fund that will be used to train and equip the Pakistani military to fight insurgents within its own borders. The money would be the first installment of a five-year, $3 billion plan.

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