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Last Updated: Thursday, 24 June, 2004, 11:37 GMT 12:37 UK
US approves $447bn defence bill
US troops in Iraq
Resistance in Iraq and Afghanistan has increased US spending
The US Senate has unanimously approved a $447bn defence spending bill which includes $25bn for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It is 5.7% larger than the 2004 defence budget, excluding the Iraq money, but is 1.7% below what President George Bush was asking for.

Senators also voted to boost army numbers by 20,000.

And the US House of Representatives has approved record funding for the US intelligence agencies.

The approval came despite recent criticism over intelligence failures, including the September 11 attacks.

The Senate must approve its own version of the bill before it can become law.

2005 DEFENCE BILL
$76bn weapons and ordnance
$68.6bn research and development
$30bn national defence programs
$10.2bn missile defence system
$4.6bn Joint Strike Fighter
$925m heavy armoured vehicles
$905m light armoured vehicles
$727.3m Chinook CH-47 helicopters
$603.2m body armour
$131.1m reconnaissance drones

The House of Representatives on Tuesday passed a similar defence budget for 2005 by a 403 to 17 vote.

The Senate's budget includes a 3.5% pay raise for all military personnel and $10.2bn for a missile defence system.

Programs such as the F/A-22 Raptor aircraft, Joint Strike Fighter and DD(X) destroyer program are also set to receive billions of dollars.

The extra spending on Iraq and Afghanistan reverses a previous spending pledge.

But the White House, in making the request last month, said it was down to "recent developments on the ground and increased demands on our troops".

The increase in troops was initially opposed by the White House and Pentagon and aims to relieve the pressure on the US Army.

It increases the Army size by about 4% to more than 500,000.


SEE ALSO:
Bush asks for $25bn for war costs
05 May 04  |  Americas
The cost of the Iraq war
06 May 04  |  Business
US budget gap squeezes spending
03 Feb 04  |  Business


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