White House to Congress: No more war funding

Earlier this month, House Armed Services Committee members voted to include an additional $5 billion in war funding for Afghan operations in their version of the Defense Department spending bill. 

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The total $85 million House committee authorization for the Afghan war was included in the panel's $638 billion defense budget bill passed on a 59-2 vote on June 6, after a 16-hour markup. 

But on Tuesday, administration officials roundly dismissed the additional funds for the Pentagon's war accounts, known inside the Defense Department as Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) funding. 

"The administration strongly objects to the provision of over $5 billion in unrequested OCO funding in the bill," according to the White House's official statement of policy on the FY '14 defense bill. 

"The president's budget for FY 2014 fully funds OCO requirements," according to the statement, issued by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 

That said, House budget is unlikely to be taken up in the Senate, where Democrats have the majority.

Like the House budget, President Obama’s Pentagon plan is set at a higher spending level, but it cannot pass due to the tax increases included.

Senate defense lawmakers are marking up their version of the Pentagon budget blueprint this week, with the committee's final draft expected no later than Friday. 

Aside from war funding, House defense committee members also are demanding the White House outline its plan to end the Afghan war next year. 

That plan, which is part of the House defense spending bill, must include troop numbers and specific missions after the President Obama's Afghan withdrawal deadline of 2014. 

The OMB statement did not include any opposition to the postwar reporting requirement in the House legislation. 

Roughly 66,000 American troops remain in Afghanistan, with half of those forces scheduled to withdraw from the country this spring.

A force ranging between 8,000-12,000 troops has been suggested to remain in a non-combat role after 2014. 

The Obama administration, however, has yet to publicly announce a postwar troop number despite increasing calls from the Pentagon and Capitol Hill to issue a final force projection. 

The final 32,000 American forces remaining in the country will start coming home following the country's presidential election in April 2014 — officially ending America's combat role.