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US Senate Passes Iraq Spending Bill With Withdrawal Timeline


The U.S. Senate has passed a war funding bill that sets a timeline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq starting in October, despite a veto threat from President Bush.

The 51-46 vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate was cast largely along party lines.

The legislation sets a non-binding goal of withdrawing most U.S. combat troops from Iraq by April of next year. It also sets benchmarks for Iraq's government to show progress in securing the country.

The Democratic-controlled U.S. House of Representatives approved a similar measure Wednesday.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat, praised the passage of both bills. She said the legislation will hopefully wind down the war in Iraq and bring U.S. troops home.

The White House said President Bush will veto the legislation "very soon" after it arrives on his desk.

After an expected presidential veto, lawmakers would have to rewrite the legislation, as the House and Senate both lack the two-thirds majorities needed to override a veto.

Both chambers are expected to approve legislation funding military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan before the current funding runs out by June or July.
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