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13 May 2004

Bush Requests $25 Billion Reserve Fund for Iraq, Afghanistan

Fund would finance military operations in fiscal 2005

President Bush has asked the U.S. Congress to consider an additional $25 billion contingent emergency reserve fund to ensure uninterrupted support for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In a May 12 letter to the Speaker of the House, Bush said, "I have pledged to our troops that they will have all the resources they need to accomplish this vital mission, and I urge the Congress to approve this reserve fund."

The reserve fund would ensure that funds are available at the beginning of fiscal year 2005, which starts October 1, 2004. The president's letter indicated that an additional supplemental request would be sent to Congress when the military is in a better position to estimate its needs for the full 2005 fiscal year.

Following is the text of the president's letter:

(begin text)

THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
May 12, 2004

TEXT OF A LETTER FROM THE PRESIDENT
TO THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

May 12, 2004

Dear Mr. Speaker:

I ask the Congress to consider the enclosed FY 2005 budget amendment to establish a $25 billion contingent emergency reserve fund to support operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Although we do not know the precise costs for operations next year, developments on the ground in Iraq indicate the need to plan for contingencies. We plan to pursue a full FY 2005 supplemental request when we can better estimate precise costs. In the meantime, this reserve fund will ensure that our men and women in uniform continue to have the resources they need when they need them.

I have pledged to our troops that they will have all the resources they need to accomplish this vital mission, and I urge the Congress to approve this reserve fund.

The details of this proposal are set forth in the enclosed letter from the Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

Sincerely,

GEORGE W. BUSH

(end text)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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