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Bush Signs $87.5 Billion Emergency Spending Bill for Iraq, Afghanistan
Paula Wolfson
VOA, White House
06 Nov 2003, 20:49 UTC

President Bush has signed legislation providing $87.5 billion for military operations and reconstruction efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The president said the $87.5 billion represents a critical financial commitment to the war on terrorism. "With this act of Congress," he said, "no enemy or friend can doubt that America has the resources and the will to see this war through to victory."

Speaking at a signing ceremony at the White House, Mr. Bush vowed the money will be well spent. "We're supporting our servicemen and women in the field of battle," he said. "We are supporting reconstruction and the emergence of democratic institutions in a vital area of the world."

The emergency spending bill, passed by Congress and sent to the president, includes almost $65 billion for military operations, and more than $20 billion for reconstruction and rehabilitation programs in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Bush signed the bill on a day when two more American soldiers were killed in Iraq. He took note of the sacrifice of all who have served in the war on terror, and said those who kill coalition soldiers want the United States to retreat. Once again, the president made clear his resolve is firm.

"Our security is at stake," he said. "The Middle East region will either become a region of progress and peace, or it will remain a source of violence and terror. And we are determined to see the triumph of progress."

President Bush said America will do all in its power to see that that freedom finds a lasting home in Afghanistan and Iraq. He said patience and sacrifice will be required, and the United States accepts the challenge.