WH not seeking additional Iraq funds

The White House is not seeking emergency funding from Congress for its military operations in Iraq, press secretary Josh Earnest said Friday.

Senior administration officials reached out to members of the House and Senate Appropriations committees ahead of President Obama's announcement Thursday night authorizing airstrikes against Islamist militants in Iraq.


Earnest said those conversations ensured that lawmakers would be in the loop “should that need arise in the future” but that the administration was not seeking additional funds “at this point.”

In addition to Appropriations Committee members, the White House informed House and Senate leadership as well as the chairmen and ranking members of the Intelligence, Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees.

In 2009, former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs bragged that the president was signing "the last supplemental for Iraq and Afghanistan" as the administration looked to wind down operations.

In 2010, though, the administration sought and received a $33 billion emergency supplemental to fund the surge in Afghanistan.

The White House on Friday repeatedly emphasized that the U.S. military actions in Iraq are "very limited in scope" hours after the U.S. began targeting militants from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) with airstrikes.

"Even as we support Iraqis as they take the fight to these terrorists, American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq," Earnest said, adding that the U.S. would "not be dragged into a prolonged military conflict."

"So that is a pretty clear expression from the commander in chief about what our intentions are and what the limit of any sort of military action would be," he continued.

"There are many challenges facing the people of Iraq right now, and it’s the view of the president that those challenges cannot be solved by the American military," Earnest added.

Earnest said the president had "not laid out a specific end date" to potential military strikes.

Last week, the House passed a measure that would require the president to seek Congressional authorization before sending combat troops to Iraq for a sustained mission.