Friday, May 25, 2007

Bush signs Democrat-controlled Congress' $95 billion bill to fund the war with no restrictions through September

Left: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid move towards an embrace as they declare a 'new direction' for America. The two leaders were personally responsible for shepherding the bill through the Democratically-controlled Congress.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Bush signed a bill Friday to pay for military operations in Iraq after a bitter struggle with Democrats in Congress who sought unsuccessfully to tie the money to U.S. troop withdrawals.

Bush signed the bill into law at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, where he is spending part of the Memorial Day weekend. In announcing the signing, White House spokesman Tony Fratto noted that it came 109 days after Bush sent his emergency spending request to Congress.

Bush had rejected an earlier bill because it contained a timetable for withdrawing troops. While the measure he signed establishes political goals for the Iraqi government and ties U.S. reconstruction aid to so-called benchmarks, Bush retains authority over the funds regardless of how the government in Baghdad performs.

"Rather than mandate arbitrary timetables for troop withdrawals or micromanage our military commanders, this legislation enables our servicemen and women to follow the judgment of commanders on the ground," Bush said in a statement.

Read the rest at the NY Times