Democrats want to add to war bill

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 2, 2003

WASHINGTON (AP) - Democrats want to add as much as $9 billion for domestic security programs to a near $80 billion Senate package paying the first bills of the war with Iraq and other expenses of the global confrontation with terrorism.

The Senate planned to begin debating the measure on Wednesday, a day after it won the overwhelming endorsement of the Senate Appropriations Committee by 29-0. The House Appropriations Committee voted 59-0 for its $77.9 billion version of the legislation, and debate by the full chamber was expected later in the week.

Leaders of both chambers are eager to rush a final version of the bill to President Bush by April 11, the goal he has set. Passage is not in doubt, reflecting lawmakers' desire to provide the money as U.S. troops fight their way to Baghdad, but questions remain about the final price tag and details.

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Both bills, for the remaining six months of the federal budget year, are dominated by funds for the Pentagon exceeding $62 billion.