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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bush Seeks Pentagon Budget Hike

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President George W. Bush's 2008 budget request includes $624.6 billion in defense spending and marks the first time he has offered an estimate of how much the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan will cost a year in advance.

Besides $93.4 billion in additional money for this year's war operations and $141.7 billion in projected war costs for next year, the administration is seeking $481.4 billion to run the U.S. Defense Department in the budget year beginning Oct. 1.

That is an 11.3 percent increase over the $432 billion approved by the U.S. Congress for this year. Also in the request for department spending is a little less than $2 billion for military benefit programs.

The Pentagon said the $141.7 billion in anticipated war costs for 2008 include not only the cost of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan but also the cost of repairing, replacing or replenishing equipment lost in combat.

The budget request, expected to undergo close scrutiny by a Democratic-controlled Congress that has grown increasingly opposed to Bush's Iraq war policy, includes no cancellations of major weapons programs.

Steven Kosiak, an analyst at the private Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, said the president's proposed increases bring the Defense Department budget back up to where it was during the 1980s, a peak period for Pentagon spending