Apr 25, 2007

Ball in Bush's Court now

WASHINGTON, April 25 (Reuters) - Defying President George W. Bush's veto threat, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday approved a bill providing about $100 billion in new war funds while also setting a non-binding March 31 goal for withdrawing all American combat troops from Iraq.

By a mostly partisan vote of 218-208, the House approved the legislation. A Senate vote was expected on Thursday. Bush, who wants the war money, has promised to veto this bill because Democrats included a timetable for withdrawal, which would begin no later than Oct. 1, with the goal of completing it six months later. "This terrible chapter in our history must come to an end ... enough is enough," said Democratic Rep.James McGovern of Massachusetts, who argued for passing the funding bill with timetables for withdrawal.

Some Democrats have acknowledged they do not have enough votes in either chamber to overturn a Bush veto. So if Bush follows through on his threat and rejects the bill, Congress is expected to write a new measure to provide money to the Pentagon before it runs out of combat funds by June or July.

It is unclear whether Democrats would try to attach other conditions to a second bill.

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