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Harry Reid threatening vote to end Iraq war funding

April 2, 2007

Washington, D.C. - Harry Reid is threatening to try to end nearly all funding for the Iraq war if the president vetoes a more loosely worded timetable for withdrawal.

The top Democrat in the Senate is threatening to try to end nearly all funding for the Iraq war if the president vetoes a more loosely worded timetable for withdrawal.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is cosponsoring a new Iraq bill with war opponent Sen. Russ Feingold, D-Wis. Their bill would stop most war funding after March 31, 2008, allowing spending in just three areas: fighting al Qaeda, training Iraqis and protecting the U.S. Embassy and other personnel.

Reid's spokesman, Jim Manley, admits the bill would require heavy political lifting. "This is an uphill battle," he told CNN News, "but it's part of an attempt to try and force a change in policy."

This is the latest chess move in a tricky standoff with the White House over withdrawal dates and funding. Last week, the Senate passed a $123 billion Iraq spending measure that recommended a final withdrawal date of March 31, 2008, and Senate and House negotiators are now merging that measure with a House version that sets an August withdrawal date.

The White House has pledged to veto any bill with a specific timetable for pulling troops out of Iraq, even if the bill contains vital war money. Now, Reid apparently is trying add pressure on the White House.

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