Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., Appropriations Cmte.

This is a partial transcript from Your World with Neil Cavuto, March 27, 2003, that was edited for clarity. Click here for complete access to all of Neil Cavuto's CEO interviews.

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NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: Joining us now one of the senators who heard from the defense secretary this morning, and really may have some new insights into the bombings we're seeing today, Republican Senator Pete Domenici who sits on the Appropriations Committee.

Senator, good to have you.

SEN. PETE DOMENICI, R-N.M., APPROPRIATIONS CMTE.: Nice to be with you.  You are doing a great job.

CAVUTO: Thank you, Senator, as are you. Let me get your take, first off, on these latest bombings in Baghdad. We seem to be wanting to intensify things a bit. Is that by design?

DOMENICI: Oh, absolutely, absolutely it's by design, because, what we are doing, now is we are getting closer and closer to the Republican Guard.  And that means that the bombs have to be dropped where they will have an impact on diminishing the capacity and strength of the Republican Guard units. Before that, there was mixture of bombing, and the Republican Guard could have - they got a lot of it thrown on them but it wasn't in such a concerted manner, to get rid of it so that it won't be there. It is no longer in large columns like it was during the last war. Their tanks are all in huts as you have shown on some of your pictures confirmed today by the secretary. They hide each one. So unless they move them you've got to go find each one of them. They are in the process now of finding them.  And as they get closer with their own manpower, they will do what they did in Afghanistan, you remember. The actual people on ground will start locating them which will make it very easy for even helicopter weapons to get them. The secretary was very confident today, as was the chief of staff of United States - the chief of staff of the Air Force, who is the chief of staff of the military. They talked very, very much about hope, pride, and the fact that our military men and women are doing very, very well, the fact that we need this money that they have asked for and we need it quickly.

CAVUTO: But on that issue of money, Senator, there was some concern among, I know, Democrats on the panel in particular, that we haven't been honest about the amount that this is going to cost, that the 75 billion up front for the six months of this campaign is conservative and maybe too conservative. It's going to ultimately be a lot more than that.

DOMENICI: Well, look, I have been here long enough, whenever you have a supplemental for the military for an extraordinary need, you've got some who say you are asking for too much, you've got some who say you're asking for too little. I think they were honest. What they said was in response to a direct question, will this take care of everything and end the war?  And of course, they said, we don't know. And what this will take care of is what we currently plan, and think we ought to be able to handle. And if we need more we won't hesitate to come back. But it should take care of all the needs to keep our military operations going until we have won.  And, you know, that is pretty broad statement. What if that victory comes in one week? it surely will cover it. What if it comes much, much later? maybe it won't cover it. Maybe they changed their tactics, it will cost more. They will to come back. This is a pretty well rounded number. It ought to do the job. And we ought to not hamstring them where they can't come back if they need it in a month.

CAVUTO: Well, do you think that is going to be case, Senator, that they will come back, and sooner maybe than we think for extra monies?

DOMENICI: I don't, because I think the war is going to end, end as soon as they planned. I don't think it is going to drag on.

CAVUTO: What are they planning?

DOMENICI: I have no information, no inside information. But frankly, I don't believe the Iraqis, even as dispersed as they are, once we start to focus on their remaining manpower strength, I don't think they are going to be able to stand up under the air bombardment and the frontal attacks by tanks. I just think they are going give way and something is going to break through to the middle of Baghdad. Whether it's the whole Army or whether it's a couple of columns, something will break through.

CAVUTO: Are you saying days, weeks?

DOMENICI: I'm talking in terms of weeks. Certainly, it could be sooner than that. But I'm not talking in terms of months. If it is going to be months it will be a battle where we are - a pitched battle where we are going to have to - when we are forced to go house to house. And I don't see how they can force us to do that. There will a lot of decisions made, in my opinion, before they will do that.

CAVUTO: Senator Pete Domenici, thank you, sir, appreciate it.

DOMENICI: Thank you.

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