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U.S. House Approves Bill On Iraq War Funds

House speaker Pelosi backed the legislation (epa) May 11, 2007 -- The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to approve a bill that provides funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan only for the next few months -- despite the threat of a veto of such a measure by President George W. Bush.

The measure, approved 221 to 205 by the Democratic Party-controlled House on May 10, would release nearly $43 billion in emergency war funding.

But the bill would require that Bush demonstrate in July that progress is being made on Iraqi security and self-government before any additional war funds are provided.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi called on Bush to reconsider his veto threat, saying the legislation was a fair bill that would enable Congress to hold the president responsible for his Iraq policy.

"This is a bill [Bush] should like -- it has his benchmarks, it asks for a progress report," Pelosi said. "He must have some confidence in what he is doing, and then leave it up to the Congress to make a judgement in July. What could be fairer than that?"

It remains unclear whether the Senate, where the Democrats hold a smaller majority, will be able to pass a similar bill.

Bush has threatened to veto any legislation that sets conditions on his ability to conduct the war. But in a sign of a possible compromise, the president has indicated he could consider a military funding bill that includes political and security goals for the Iraqi government to meet.

Before approving the war-funding bill, the House voted to reject a measure calling for the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq within nine months. The measure, put forward by strongly anti-war Democrats, was rejected with a vote of 255 to 171.

(compiled from agency reports)

RFE/RL Iraq Report

RFE/RL Iraq Report

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