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US Senate approves Iraq Withdrawal bill


AdamH
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[from rte.ie]

Thursday, 29 March 2007 16:18

The US Senate has approved a bill tying funding for the war in Iraq to a timetable for withdrawing US troops by the end of March next year.

The measure seeking to force a dramatic change in US policy in Iraq was approved by a vote along party lines of 51 to 47.

US President George W Bush has said he will veto any bill for a withdrawal from Iraq, meaning the vote sets the stage for a showdown with the Democrat-controlled Congress.

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'I'll veto a bill that restricts our commanders on the ground in Iraq, a bill that doesn't fund our troops, a bill that's got too much spending on it,' Mr Bush said after meeting with Republican Congressional allies earler.

The House of Representatives already passed last week its own $124bn version of the emergency spending bill with a deadline to get troops out of Iraq by August 31, 2008.

The bill passed today by the US Senate will have to be reconciled with the House of Representatives' version.

Democrats, who won control of Congress in November elections marked by voter discontent over the war, were able earlier in the week to turn back Republican attempts to strip the pullout deadline from the spending bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid also sent Mr Bush a letter yesterday, warning that his insistence that he will veto the bill will 'needlessly delay funding for our (US) troops'.

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