Gates asks for $33B in war supplemental

Secretary of Defense Robert Gates on Monday urged Congress to approve a $33 billion war supplemental bill by spring to fund increased operations in Afghanistan.

The request for more war money will immerse Congress in an intense debate over the war in Afghanistan. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) already said that she won't ask members of her party, and in particular liberal Democrats, to vote for another war supplemental.

Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale said Monday that the Pentagon will need the additional money by Memorial Day, at the end of May. Hale said that the Pentagon could stretch beyond that date.

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"We are driving at 60 miles an hour toward a brick wall," Hale said at a Pentagon press briefing.

In the fall, President Barack Obama announced his decision to send an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan. The deployment is expected to be completed by August or September, putting the expenditures within fiscal 2010.