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Iraq Plan Could Cost $65 Billion, Insiders Say

September 04, 2003|From Reuters

WASHINGTON — Under pressure to quickly bolster military operations and reconstruction in Iraq, the Bush administration is drawing up a spending plan that could cost up to $65 billion, people familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

Senior White House officials told key members of Congress that they probably would propose the emergency spending package before President Bush attends the annual session of the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 23, sources said.

The White House declined to talk about numbers and insisted no decisions had been made.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman C.W. "Bill" Young (R-Fla.) said figures were not discussed at a White House meeting Wednesday but the $65-billion estimate was "probably accurate. That's the sense I'm getting."

Sources said other options also were being reviewed.

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