President Bush asked Congress to approve billions of additional dollars to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan on Thursday.

Bush called on lawmakers to approve a spending bill without delay and without strings attached. If the funds are not provide, Bush said the Army would have to close bases and furlough between 100,00 and 200,00 civilian workers by mid-February.

I asked Congress to provide this essential funding to our troops before the members leave on their Christmas vacation, Bush said in a statement.

The president has requested $196 billion for the fiscal year that began on October 1. Congress, currently controlled by opposition Democrats has previously offered to pass a $50 billion bill with the requirement that most U.S. troops leave Iraq by the end of 2008.

Democrats do not have enough votes in the Senate to push through a bill with their troop plan, however.