WASHINGTON – US President George W. Bush on Saturday threatened to veto emergency money for Iraq and Afghanistan if it includes measures aimed at forcing a US withdrawal or unrelated domestic spending.
â€œCongress needs to approve emergency funding for our troops, without strings and without delay. If they send me a bill that does otherwise, I will veto it,â€ Bush said in his weekly radio address.Â
At issue is next weekâ€™s debate in the House of Representatives over a 124-billion-dollar spending measure that includes a Democratic measure aimed at forcing a US withdrawal from Iraq by September 2008.Â
The US president warned that such an outcome would be â€disastrousâ€ and â€œa nightmare for our countryâ€ and said it â€œwould undermineâ€ the ongoing effort to quell sectarian violence in Baghdad.Â
Bush said the hotly contested bill would give lawmakers who say they support US troops in Iraq â€œa chance to show that support in deed, as well as in wordâ€ as he railed against domestic spending provisions tacked on to the war funding.Â
â€œFor example, the House bill would provide 74 million dollars for peanut storage, 48 million dollars for the Farm Service Agency, and 35 million dollars for NASA. These programs do not belong in an emergency war spending bill,â€ he said.Â
â€œCongress must not allow debate on domestic spending to delay funds for our troops on the front lines. And members should not use funding our troops as leverage to pass special interest spending for their districts,â€ warned Bush.Â