WASHINGTON, June 7 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President George W. Bush on Saturday urged the Democratic-dominated Congress to pass a huge Iraq war-funding bill.
"This is an opportunity for Congress to give our men and women in uniform the tools they need to protect us, and Congress should approve these vital funds immediately," Bush said in his weekly radio address.
"Congress has had this funding request for more than a year, and there is no reason for further delay," he said.
The U.S. Senate last month passed the Bush administration's war-funding request, but it also approved billions of dollars in domestic spending that includes a generous expansion of veterans' education benefits, a 13-week extension of unemployment insurance, home heating assistance and other domestic spending add-ons.
The two bills would be sent to the House for final approval in one package. However, the White House had made it clear it would veto any war-funding involving unrelated spending.
The dispute over the contested bill has caused delay in its approval, which Bush said will produce dire consequences, such as temporary layoffs of civilian employees next month and no more paychecks for troops after July.
So far, 178 billion U.S. dollars of war funds in Bush's 2008-2009 budget plan are yet to be approved by the Congress.
Nearly 700 billion dollars have been approved by the U.S. Congress to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since Sept. 11, 2001. The figure will grow to 876 billion if the pending war-funding bill gets though in the Congress.
BAGHDAD, June 7 (Xinhua) -- As the ongoing negotiation framing the Iraqi-U.S. future relations is moving toward its deadline, concerns are growing among the Iraqis that their sovereignty and interests would fall a victim to the agreement. Full story
LONDON, June 6 (Xinhua) -- The Unite States is threatening the Iraqi government into signing a military agreement by holding hostage some 50 billion U.S. dollars of Iraq's money in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, The Independent reported Friday. Full story
LONDON, June 5 (Xinhua) -- A secret deal being negotiated in Baghdad would perpetuate the American military occupation of Iraq indefinitely, regardless of the outcome of the U.S. presidential election in November, British newspaper The Independent revealed Thursday. Full story