Iraq-Katrina funding bill is being loaded with pork

Associated Press Apr. 5, 2006 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON - A bill to fund the war in Iraq ballooned by more than $10 billion Tuesday after a Senate panel added funding for everything from fighting bird flu to repairing oyster beds.

The extras are sure to provoke a reaction from GOP conservatives already complaining about their party's recent record on spending. But the temptation for using the must-pass bill containing $67.8 billion for the Pentagon's mission in Iraq, and $27 billion in additional hurricane relief along the Gulf Coast, as a locomotive to drive even more spending proved too difficult for senators to pass up.

Overall, the bill would cost about $107 billion.

That's still not enough for Gulf Coast senators like Mary Landry, D-La., who marched from the Senate Appropriations Committee vote to the Senate Press Gallery to demand an additional $5 billion-plus to reflect new Army Corps of Engineers estimates of what will be needed for Louisiana levees.

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