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Bush Seeks 5 Percent Hike In Defense Spending

7 February 2005 -- U.S. President George W. Bush today called for a 5 percent increase in U.S. defense spending next year.

Bush's request would see the U.S. defense budget raised to $419.3 billion.

The request does not include funds for U.S. military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq. Financing for those operations are expected to come later in separate "supplemental" requests to lawmakers.

The requested increase comes as Bush today sent the U.S. Congress a $2.5 trillion spending plan, which foresees big cuts in many nonmilitary programs.

Bush said the budget will help cut the big federal deficit, while meeting obligations.

"It is a budget that sets priorities; our priorities are winning the war on terror, protecting our homeland, growing our economy," Bush said. "It's a budget that focuses on results."

The 2006 U.S. budget year begins on 1 October.

(wire reports)