President Bush has vetoed an emergency funding bill for the U.S. military that sets a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.
In an address to the nation Tuesday, Mr. Bush said the bill substitutes the opinions of lawmakers for the judgment of military commanders. He said it also mandates what he called "a rigid and artificial" deadline for withdrawal that sets a date for failure.
Mr. Bush called on the Democratic-led Congress that passed the bill to put politics behind them and give the troops the support they need.
Minutes later, Senator Harry Reid, majority leader of the U.S. Senate responded to the veto, warning that it would not stop Democrats from trying to change the direction of the war.
Speaker of the House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi also criticized Mr. Bush's move in her response. She said the bill supports the troops and gives the president more than he asked for.
Pelosi said Mr. Bush wants a blank check, and she said Congress will not provide him with one.
Pelosi and Reid signed the legislation Tuesday.
Mr. Bush said he has invited lawmakers to the White House Wednesday to work out a new spending proposal.
The bill contains a provision that U.S. troops begin pulling out of Iraq as early as October, with a goal of removing most combat forces by April next year.
Earlier Tuesday, President Bush said passing the legislation in its current state would aid al-Qaida terrorists. He was speaking at the annual Centcom coalition conference, made up of nations involved in coalition operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.