President Bush’s veto of an Iraq war spending bill that set timelines for U.S. troop withdrawals puts new pressure on Democrats in Congress to craft a compromise even as their caucus grows more fractious on the topic.
The party’s most liberal members, especially in the House, say they will vote against money for continuing the war if there’s no binding language on troop drawdowns. Bush and almost all congressional Republicans continue to insist on a spending bill with no strings attached on troop movements.
Bush on Tuesday rejected legislation pushed by Democratic leaders that would require the first U.S. combat troops to be withdrawn by Oct. 1 with a goal of a complete pullout six months later.
“This is a prescription for chaos and confusion and we must not impose it on our troops,” Bush said in a nationally broadcast statement from the White House. “It makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing.”