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House to boost GI Bill as it passes war funding
By ANDREW TAYLOR
Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush wants more money for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. House Democrats are making him pay for a price - increased education benefits for veterans of those conflicts - to pass his long-stalled request.
The House also was poised to approve on Thursday an extra tax on wealthier people. The new revenue would help cover the 10-year, $52 billion cost of bolstering the GI Bill and providing those veterans with a college education.
Senators, however, are balking at the one-half of a percentage point increase in tax rates on income topping $500,000 for individuals and $1 million for couples. At the same time, Republicans and business groups say the plan amounts to an increase in taxes on small businesses that pay taxes at the same rates as individuals.
The war spending would provide $163 billion for military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan into next year. But Democrats are focusing more on their add-ons, especially the big increase in the GI Bill and an extension of unemployment insurance for people whose benefits have run out.