House-Senate agrees on Iraq funding bill

House and Senate Republican leaders completed agreement Thursday on a long-sought $94.5 billion bill to pay for the war in Iraq and deliver a much-needed infusion of relief to Louisiana and other hurricane-ravaged states of the Gulf of Mexico coast. The bill will not clear Congress for President George W. Bush's desk until next week, but the deal's official submission would ease Pentagon worries of a money crunch caused by weeks of delays in reaching a compromise. The bill includes $65.8 billion for military operations and maintenance in Afghanistan and Iraq; personnel and energy costs; new weapons and ammunition; and an initiative to locate and disarm roadside bombs.