Where is the Grand Ole Party's concern for the deficit?Excerpts from today's New York Times's article "Bush Requesting Nearly $75 Billion for War CostsBy ELISABETH BUMILLER and DAVID FIRESTONE"WASHINGTON, March 24 — President Bush will ask Congress for $74.7 billion to pay for the war in Iraq, a senior administration official said tonight, but the money covers anticipated expenses for only the next six months. It does not cover any war expenses after the end of the current fiscal year, on Sept. 30, or the long-term costs of reconstruction.The amount, one of the most intensely debated figures in the capital, is the first real insight into the expectations of the White House about the scale and length of the war. The $74.7 billion, the senior administration official said, is to cover six months that are expected to include "a conflict, a period of stabilization in Iraq and the phased withdrawal of a large number of American forces."The official did not say how long the White House expected the conflict itself to last, although he did repeat the recent words of Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld that the war would go on for "weeks, not months."...The request for war financing, made public on another day of setbacks for the allies in Iraq, immediately opened a new political front between the White House and Congress, including many members of Mr. Bush's own party. Lawmakers are increasingly alarmed about the cost of paying for the president's proposed 10-year, $726 billion tax cut at a time of an expensive war.The senior administration official said the new war costs would probably bring the fiscal year 2003 deficit close to $400 billion.The $74.7 billion request includes about $63 billion for fighting the war, including replenishing used munitions and other matériel to prewar levels; about $8 billion for relief efforts and immediate reconstruction; and about $4 billion to better protect the United States against what the administration says is the increased likelihood of terrorist attacks.The $8 billion in relief and reconstruction would include $5 billion in aid for what the administration official said were "supportive" countries in the region affected by the war, like Pakistan, Israel, Jordan and Turkey. The official said Turkey alone would receive $1 billion, but refused to say what for. On March 1, the Turkish Parliament rejected an American request, along with $6 billion in grants and an unspecified amount of loans, to use Turkey as a base for a northern front in the war.Democrats on the House Appropriations Committee predicted that the final cost of the war — which will be borne almost entirely by American taxpayers — could be twice the amount requested today, and Pentagon officials did not deny that more requests would be coming."We have not budgeted the 2004 budget for the global war on terrorism or the current operation for Iraqi freedom," a senior defense official said today. "It's obvious. How could we budget for something that we didn't know would happen?"..."We need to know exactly where this money is going," said Representative David R. Obey of Wisconsin, the ranking Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee. "With all due respect to Don Rumsfeld's brilliance, he has not been given Congress's power of the purse, and it's our job to know exactly what the purpose of this spending is."Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, ranking Democrat on the Appropriations Committee, said he supported every dollar needed by the troops to complete their mission, but would not sign a blank check. "We have a duty to the American people to tell up front what is expected, what the costs are in terms of lives and in terms of dollars," he said. "This bill is just a down payment.."