Congress voted Saturday to allocate nearly $80 billion toward
paying for the war in Iraq. The bill also includes money for the
broader war on terror, homeland security, foreign aid and the
airline industry. President Bush is expected to sign the bill
soon.

The majority of the money – nearly $63 billion – is earmarked
for the war against Iraq. Domestic security agencies are set to
receive $3.9 billion while the airline industry is scheduled to get
$2.9 billion.

President Bush said the bill provides “the resources necessary
to win the war and help secure enduring freedom and democracy for
the Iraqi people.”

House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) echoed Bush’s sentiments.
“In the end, we had a job to do to help our troops, and we did that
job well,” Hastert said.

“My vote is a vote to support our brave troops and to ensure
they have all they need while they diligently perform their duties
in times of great danger,” U.S. Rep. John Conyers (D-Detroit) said
in a written statement.

“My vote should not be misread, however, as endorsing President
Bush’s reckless diplomacy, his disdain for the U.N. and his
decision to start this war,” Conyers added.

The bill was delayed because of senators’ proposed amendments –
many of which were seen as pork barrel legislation. The early
stages of the bill included money for costs related to the
Providence, R.I. nightclub fire and a provision on Ginseng
labeling.

“Unfortunately in this town we have people who will take
advantage of even a war situation,” House Majority Leader Tom DeLay
(R-Texas) said.

– Daily Staff Reporter Michael Gurovitsch contributed to this
report.

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