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US lawmakers to send Iraq troop pull-out bill to Bush today

world Updated: May 01, 2007 10:14 IST

AFP
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Lawmakers in the US Congress will send their controversial Iraq war funding bill, with a timetable for withdrawing US troops from the country, to the desk of President George W Bush on Tuesday, sources in the House of Representatives said.

The bill, which makes 124 billion dollars of military funding conditional on pulling out most troops by March 2008, is likely to be signed by the Democrat Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate leader Harry Reid on Tuesday afternoon and then sent to the White House, a spokesman for Pelosi said.

Bush has vowed to use his veto power to kill any bill containing a timetable for withdrawal from violence-plagued Iraq, and has urged lawmakers to pass the current proposal to him promptly so work can begin on a new version.

The bill will be sent to Bush four years to the day after he stood on an aircraft carrier in front of a banner reading "Mission Accomplished," declaring that major combat operations in the US-led invasion of Iraq had ended.

Four years on, the United States is pouring thousands more troops into Iraq to try to stabilise the country, where insurgent attacks and bombings have killed hundreds of people a week.

Bush reiterated his determination to veto the House's bill, which he has said would tie the hands of those running the war on the ground.

"I am about to veto a bill that has got artificial timetables for withdrawal. But that's not the only bad thing about the bill," he told reporters on Monday.

Bush is due to visit a military headquarters in Florida on Tuesday, but has invited Democrat and Republican Congressional leaders to the White House on Wednesday to tackle the funding issue.