President Obama signed the $59 billion emergency war supplemental spending package on Thursday. The measure provides $33.5 billion for Defense Department expenses for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, including adding 30,000 troops in the Afghan theater.
The bill also includes $5.1 billion for the Federal Emergency Management Agency disaster relief fund; $6.2 billion for State Department aid programs in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Haiti; and $13.4 billion in benefits for Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange.
The bill was approved by the House this week and the Senate last week, and followed months of deliberation among Democrats who wanted to use it to provide additional funds for domestic needs.
But with the Pentagon having warned that it needs the funds before the August recess, and with a growing reluctance among members to vote for legislation that would add to the deficit, Democratic supporters of the domestic spending relented on using the supplemental as a vehicle.