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Bush Repeats Vow to Veto Bill Setting Timetable for Iraq Troop Withdrawal

President Bush has repeated his pledge to veto an emergency war spending bill that the House of Representatives is set to debate next week, if it sets a deadline for the removal of troops from Iraq.

In his weekly radio address Saturday, Mr. Bush said proponents of the bill are using it as an opportunity to micromanage U.S. military commanders and add domestic spending that has nothing to do with the war on terrorism.

He repeated a statement that Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently made to Congress - that setting a fixed troop withdrawal date would tell the enemy how long it has to wait until U.S. soldiers leave the country.

In its current form, the House bill would set a September 2008 deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces from Iraq.

In the Democratic response today, Senator Patty Murray from Washington state said it is time to bring the war to a close. She said the Iraqis should step up and take responsibility for their own future.