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Obama Signs $60 Billion Afghanistan War Bill to Pay for Increase in Troops

President Barack Obama signed a $60 billion war-funding bill that will pay for his plan announced last year to send 30,000 additional troops to Afghanistan.

The measure was approved by the Senate last week and passed the House of Representatives yesterday over the objections of some Democrats opposed to the war.

It includes $33 billion for the increase in troops in Afghanistan, along with $5 billion in disaster assistance and $13 billion to help pay for ailments presumed to be linked to use of the defoliant Agent Orange during the Vietnam War.

Afghan war costs will top those in Iraq this year for the first time since the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003. Costs this year will total more than those in all but two years of former President George W. Bush’s administration. The measure will bring total war expenses to $1.1 trillion.

Obama is sending more troops to Afghanistan to quell a Taliban-led insurgency. He has pledged to begin bringing U.S. forces home in July 2011, depending on conditions in the country, while not specifying a date when the withdrawal would be complete.

The bill is H.R. 4899.

To contact the reporters on this story: Nicholas Johnston in Washington at njohnston3@bloomberg.net; Brian Faler in Washington at bfaler@bloomberg.net

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