WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is seeking $83.4 billion in funding for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, including $75.8 billion for the Pentagon, for the rest of the 2009 fiscal year, a government official said Thursday.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the figures have not yet been officially published.
Congressional aides said they expected to receive the supplemental request later Thursday.
One aide said they expected the request to include some foreign aid money for Afghanistan and Pakistan, the West Bank and Gaza, and to combat illegal drug cartels in Mexico.
Members of Congress criticized the administration of George W. Bush for funding the wars through supplemental budget requests and President Barack Obama has pledged to include much more war-related spending in the regular budget.
But the White House said it had to submit another large supplemental request because the wars were only half-funded for the rest of the 2009 fiscal year, which ends on September 30.
The efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan only have funding through half the fiscal year, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said.
The honest budget and appropriations process that the president has talked about falls somewhat victim to the fact that this is the way that wars have been funded previously, Gibbs told a news briefing.