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Bush ready to veto Iraq funding bill Democrats are using in effort to bring U.S. troops home

Bush ready to veto Iraq funding bill Democrats are using in effort to bring U.S. troops home

For President George W. Bush, it is not a question of whether he will veto a congressional measure calling for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, but rather when he will do it.
Democratic congressional aides said they anticipate that Bush will reject the Iraq funding bill Wednesday after receiving it from lawmakers on Tuesday. That would force the democratically controlled Congress to revisit the dilemma of how to give troops in the field the money they need while satisfying opponents of the war who want U.S. involvement ended.
Tuesday was the fourth anniversary of Bush's announcement aboard the deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln that major combat operations in Iraq had ended.
"The battle of Iraq is one victory in a war on terror that began on Sept. 11, 2001, and still goes on," Bush said on May 1, 2003, in front of a huge "Mission Accomplished" banner.
Bush since has acknowledged that the war has not progressed as he had hoped. After the November elections in which Democrats swept up enough seats to take control of Congress, he announced a new strategy that involved sending additional forces to Iraq.
Bush on Monday repeated his intention to veto the $124.2 billion (euro91.3 billion) spending measure, citing the withdrawal language as well as funding for nonmilitary projects. Although he said he wanted to work with Democrats, he made clear he was not giving in on the question of setting a timetable for withdrawal.
"I'm optimistic we can get something done in a positive way," Bush said.
Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who said the bill would arrive at the White House on Tuesday, urged the president to reconsider his veto promise.
"If the president wonders why the American people have lost patience, it is because the news out of Iraq grows worse by the day," Reid said.
The funding bill would require troops to begin leaving Iraq in October, a provision Democrats see as meeting the mandate they received from voters in the November elections. Bush has argued that setting a firm date for withdrawal would be counterproductive because it would embolden terrorists and others creating havoc in Iraq.


Updated : 2021-05-15 06:21 GMT+08:00