Politics

That's About One Billion Thousand for Each Registered Voter

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From Congressional Quarterly:

Free money!

President Bush on Monday signed a $186.5 [billion] supplemental spending bill that provides funding for another year of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan while greatly expanding GI Bill education benefits for veterans of the two wars. […]

The military funding section of the new law provides $161.8 billion to support operations related to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with $95.9 billion for the remainder of fiscal 2008 and $65.9 billion for fiscal 2009, which begins Oct. 1. The money will fund war operations through next June. […]

The bill provides $24.7 billion for domestic programs, including money for Midwest flood and tornado relief, and funds to rebuild levees destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.

It greatly expands veterans' education benefits, extends unemployment benefits for up to 13 weeks beyond the normal six months, and delays six Medicaid regulations proposed by the administration that would shift some costs to the states.

Remember ? until the Republican-led Congress changed the rules, previous wars were paid for with emergency supplemental spending (in other words, totally off-budget) only for as long as the wars could be described as "emergencies"; i.e., a year or two max. Now, throwing scores of billions down a black hole of pent-up Democratic desires is as easy as saying "support our troops."