Afghanistan war supplemental bill needs to be passed this month, Reid says

Congress must pass a supplemental war spending bill before the end of the month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday.

Reid, in remarks on the Senate floor, said that Defense Secretary Robert Gates told lawmakers they need to pass the measure to help fund the war in Afghanistan by the time they leave for the Memorial Day break.

President Barack Obama has called on Congress to pass a $33 billion spending bill so he can implement a surge of approximately 30,000 troops in the fight against the Taliban.

The war spending bill comes on top of other major pieces of legislation congressional leaders hope to clear for the president's signature in coming weeks. The Senate is expected to work through next week on a financial regulation reform bill. Democrats also hope to clear extensions of expiring tax provisions, unemployment benefits and the Medicare physician payment rate before June.