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President Bush Criticizes House, Senate Spending Bills Setting Timetable for Iraq Pullout

  • VOA News

President Bush has criticized bills passed in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives that set a timetable for removal of US troops from Iraq.

The Senate passed its Iraq funding bill this week. It includes a non-binding pullout timetable. The House passed a tougher measure last week that sets a mandatory troop pullout date.

President Bush said on US radio on Saturday that each bill would impose restrictive conditions on US military commanders by setting an arbitrary deadline for what he called "surrender and withdrawal" in Iraq. He has said he will veto any bill that includes a timetable for leaving Iraq.

Former Marine Andrew Horne delivered the Democrats' response. A veteran of both the Persian Gulf war and the Iraq war, and an unsuccessful candidate for Congress, he said if President Bush vetoes the spending bill, Congress has the responsibility to override it.

President Bush has called for a "no-strings-attached" emergency funding bill for the military. He says that, otherwise, funds for Iraq and Afghanistan will run out by mid-April. But an independent US government report said this week that the Army has enough money available to fund its military operations in Iraq through July.

The Congressional Research Service - the nonpartisan research agency of the US Congress - issued a report this week saying the Army could pay for both its regular and combat operations through May. After that, it can shift money from different accounts dedicated to non-combat functions.
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