They have sent up another Iraq war spending bill with a timeline for our troops to withdrawal, and President Bush has vowed that he will again veto it. From the AP:
WASHINGTON (AP) – Defying veto threats, Democratic congressional leaders on Tuesday sent President Bush legislation setting timetables for U.S. troop withdrawals from Iraq on the fourth anniversary of his “Mission Accomplished” speech on the war.
“The president has put our troops in the middle of a civil war. A change of course is needed,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
Bush, meeting in Florida with military commanders, said such an approach could turn Iraq into a “cauldron of chaos.”
President Bush will take to the airwaves tonight at 6:10pm to make a statement about the veto.
Update: Ian at Hot Air has posted the video of President Bush’s comments. Here are highlights of his speech:
“…[M]embers of the House and the Senate passed a bill that substitutes the opinions of politicians for the judgment of our military commanders. So a few minutes ago, I vetoed this bill.” “Here is why the bill Congress passed is unacceptable”
- “First, the bill would mandate a rigid and artificial deadline for American troops to begin withdrawing from Iraq.” “It makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing. … Setting a deadline for withdrawal is setting a date for failure – and that would be irresponsible.”
- “Second, the bill would impose impossible conditions on our commanders in combat.” “That means American commanders in the middle of a combat zone would have to take fighting directions from politicians 6,000 miles away in Washington, D.C. This is a prescription for chaos and confusion, and we must not impose it on our troops.”
- “Third, the bill is loaded with billions of dollars in non-emergency spending that has nothing to do with fighting the war on terror.” “Congress should debate these spending measures on their own merits – and not as a part of an emergency funding bill for our troops.”
“The need to act is urgent. …[W]hatever our differences, surely we can agree that our troops are worthy of this funding – and that we have a responsibility to get it to them without further delay.”
“Without a war funding bill, the military has to take money from some other account or training program so the troops in combat have what they need.”
“Without a war funding bill, the Armed Forces will have to consider cutting back on buying new equipment or repairing existing equipment.”
“Without a war funding bill, we add to the uncertainty felt by our military families. Our troops and their families deserve better – and their elected leaders can do better.”
Update II: The White House has released the transcript of the President’s speech.