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 Home > News & Policies > March 2003

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 25, 2003

Supporting Our Troops Abroad and Increasing Safety at Home

Today's Presidential Action

President Bush will submit a wartime supplemental budget request to Congress that will:

  • Support the men and women of our Armed Forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom and in the war on terror;
  • Provide humanitarian relief for the people of Iraq;
  • and Help to defend our homeland against the threat of terrorism.

Every item in the President's request is directly tied to Operation Iraqi Freedom, the war on terror, or addressing the terrorism threat to our homeland and the preparedness needs of our first responders. The President urges Congress to pass this needed bill quickly and without adding extraneous and unrelated spending. The total amount of the supplemental request - $74.7 billion - is necessary and affordable at less than 1% of Gross Domestic Product.

Background on Today's Presidential Action

Supporting America's Armed Forces: The supplemental requests $62.6 billion to support America's military, both in Iraq and in other operations related to the war on terrorism. This request includes funding to pay for transporting forces to the region, supplying our war fighters, and maintaining vehicles, vessels, aircraft, and equipment. It will also allow the Pentagon to replace cruise missiles, smart bombs, and other high-tech munitions that are currently being used by our Armed Forces. Significantly, it will help to provide combat pay for active duty soldiers in the theatre, and it will pay for America's Reservists who have answered the call to duty, including their training, housing, and equipment.

Providing Humanitarian Relief to the People of Iraq: The President has requested $2.4 billion to create a new, flexible account focused on relief and reconstruction for the people of Iraq. These funds will be used to provide food, water, medicine, and clothing to the people of Iraq. They will also be used to repair damaged infrastructure, restore important government services, and keep schools open. The total commitment of resources for Iraq relief and reconstruction, including those provided through the Department of Defense, is approximately $3.5 billion.

Defending Our Homeland Against the Threat of Terrorism: The supplemental request includes $4.25 billion to strengthen America's defenses against terrorism. This funding will enhance the security of our Nation during this period of heightened threat and improve the preparedness of first responders. These funds must be flexible to enable homeland security and emergency preparedness officials to target resources based on the latest intelligence. The President's request includes:

  • $2 billion through the Department of Homeland Security for state and local terrorism preparedness and prevention. This request will help state and local first responders with new equipment, training, and better emergency planning. As part of Operation Liberty Shield, it will also provide new funding to improve protection at critical infrastructure facilities and secure high-threat urban areas identified by DHS.
  • $1.5 billion to support expanded operations of the Department of Homeland Security as part of Operation Liberty Shield. These funds support Coast Guard forces deployed to the theater as well as increased security at home to protect our ports and the deployment of military supplies. It also increases resources for border and transportation security, including additional screening of visitors crossing the border; increased inspection of high-risk goods and cargo at ports-of-entry; additional flight hours for airspace security; and other security measures.
  • $750 million for other immediate and emerging terrorism-related prevention and response requirements, including $500 million for the Department of Justice and $250 million for other agencies throughout the federal government.

For more information on the President's initiatives, please visit