House approves Iraq spending bill

The House of Representatives voted 298 to 121 today in favor of the Bush administration's $87.5 billion War Supplemental Conference Report that included almost $2 billion in information technology projects to help wage the war on terrorism.

As part of the package, Congress approved IT spending that included $541.9 million for procurement and $338.8 million for research and development. The Air Force received the largest IT procurement, $239.3 million, including $150.3 million for communications systems in the Central Command region.

Defense Departmentwide programs netted $170.5 million to include $45.4 million for communications and computer security improvements. The Army garnered $121.8 million, including $42.2 million for command and control equipment. The Navy would get $10.3 million for command and control and Global Broadcast System satellite terminal updates.

President Bush last month submitted to Congress the $87 billion spending request to sustain operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and worldwide. House and Senate conferees this week added $500 million to aid California's wildfire victims.

The House War Supplemental Conference Report included a $335 million cut to Iraqi transportation and telecommunications improvements recommended by the House Appropriations Committee. President Bush requested $835 million, but conferees approved $500 million.

The report, which requires Senate passage and President Bush's signature into law, earmarked $64.7 billion for national defense, $18.6 billion for Iraq, $1.2 billon for Afghanistan, $580 million for Commerce, Justice and State department programs, and $500 for federal disaster assistance. The administration asked for $65.1 billion for defense, $20.3 billion for Iraq, $800 million for Afghanistan and $187 million for the department's three programs.

The Senate has yet to vote on the final package.

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