06/03/2009 | 10:37 AM

WASHINGTON — The White House on Tuesday night asked Congress for $2 billion to help prepare for a possible swine flu pandemic — a request that came on top of up to $2 billion already pending in House-Senate talks on a huge war funding bill.

President Barack Obama also sent lawmakers a request for $200 million in humanitarian aid to Pakistan, where 2.5 million people have been displaced from their homes, in large part because of the government's campaign against insurgents.

The requests, if granted, would likely bring the cost of Obama's funding bill for military and diplomatic efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan to more than $100 billion.

Republicans in the House are lining up to oppose the war-funding bill if Democrats insist on including in it a new line of credit for the International Monetary Fund.

Democrats may have to scramble to pass the bill in the House, where Republican votes are likely to be needed to make up for about 50 anti-war liberal Democrats who opposed it last month.

At the core of the tentatively priced $98.8 billion House-Senate measure is $79.9 billion for the Pentagon, a figure that's also rankling House Republicans since it represents an almost $5 billion cut from the version that passed the House last month. That measure did not include funding for the IMF.

Responding to media reports that House Democratic negotiators have agreed to include a new $100 billion line of credit to the IMF — a top priority of President Barack Obama — the top Republican in the House said Tuesday he would oppose the bill.

"Let's be clear: a troop-funding bill should fund our troops, period," said Minority Leader John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio. "Weighing down this critical legislation with nondefense spending will only drag this process out further and cost it essential Republican support needed for passage."

Obama promised the IMF money at April's G-20 summit to help developing countries deal with the troubled global economy. About $8 billion for an earlier commitment for the IMF will be included. - AP

From GMANews.tv; see the source article here.

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