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Bush Wants Money for War in Iraq

President Bush says Congress must provide what he says are vital funds for U.S. troops before lawmakers leave for Christmas break. VOA White House correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

In his weekly radio address, President Bush says time is running out for Congress to fund troops in Iraq.

"Our men and women on the front lines will be spending this holiday season far from their families and loved ones," said Mr. Bush. "And this Christmas, they deserve more than words from Congress. They deserve action."

The Senate Friday authorized nearly $700 billion in military spending for 2008, including nearly $200 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Congress authorizing money is not the same as spending it.

That is expected to happen in the coming week when some of the president's request for Iraq is likely to be attached to a more than $500 billion government-wide spending bill in the Senate.

This will allow Democrats to finish much of the budget process before the end of the calendar year.

But the President and his Republican allies will have succeeded once again in blocking Democrats from making more money for the war conditional on a timetable for troop withdrawal.

In an interview on public television on Thursday, the speaker of the House, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, acknowledged that her party has not been able to attach a timetable for withdrawal.

She said the Democrats can only do so much and that the Presidential election in November 2008 will make all the difference on the war.