Bush Vows to Hold Democrats Responsible on Iraq Troop Pullout [ed.: Is that supposed to be a threat?]
President George W. Bush attacked the Senate's $122 billion Iraq war spending bill that insists on a timetable for troop withdrawal and promised he'll hold Democrats responsible.
``The clock is ticking for our troops in the field,'' Bush will say in a speech this morning, according to excerpts released by the White House. ``If Congress fails to pass a bill to fund our troops on he front lines, the American people will know who to hold responsible.''
Money for U.S. military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan begins running out in mid-April.
The president's rhetoric reflects an escalation in the confrontation between the administration and the Democratic- controlled Congress over lawmakers' attempts to set a deadline for withdrawal of troops. The Senate voted 50-48 yesterday to pull out most of the 141,000 U.S. forces from Iraq by March 31, 2008, and attached it to a $122 billion war-funding measure. The House passed a $124 billion package last week, setting a deadline of September 2008.
``The bottom line is this: the House and Senate bills have too much pork, too many conditions on our commanders, and an artificial timetable for withdrawal,'' Bush will say, according to the excerpts. ``As I have made clear for weeks, if either version comes to my desk, I will veto it.''