Spending bill costs have risen


first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! WASHINGTON – A must-pass spending bill to pay for the rising costs of the war in Iraq and for additional hurricane aid for the storm-ravaged Gulf Coast is debuting on the Senate floor to poor reviews from conservatives over its massive cost. The $106.5 billion bill has ballooned by almost $15 billion over President George W. Bush’s February request, and that figure could grow as senators of both parties press amendments to add money for border security and medical care for veterans. The White House asked the Senate on Tuesday for $2.2 billion more to repair and strengthen levees in and around New Orleans. It reduced its request for Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster funds by the same amount, a reflection of concerns over the bill’s cost. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREOregon Ducks football players get stuck on Disney ride during Rose Bowl eventThe measure is expected to eventually pass with ease, but not before the Senate takes ample time to discuss Iraq policy, gasoline prices and homestate projects. Among the first amendments will be one by Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., and endorsed by Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., to add about $2 billion in new border-security funds. The border-security measures were to have been part of a major immigration bill that stalled in the Senate just before the Easter-Passover holiday recess. The money would be used to hire and train more Border Patrol agents and build new detention centers for immigrants.last_img