“It will surely be much larger than $25 billion,” [Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz] said.
That would bring the total requested so far for next year to over $50 billion. Many lawmakers of both parties have said they believe even that figure will ultimately prove short by many billions of dollars.
Bush’s initial request for $25 billion would give him nearly unfettered control over details of how the money would be spent, which drew fire from senators.
Though Congress is considered certain to provide the money he wants, it is uncertain whether it will grant him such leeway in dispensing it. Democrats and some Republicans, rankled by reports that the administration used earlier funds for Iraq war preparations without telling them, are leery of providing him with unlimited flexibility in spending the money.