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Bush Approves $555 Billion US Spending Bill for 2008

President Bush has signed a massive spending bill for 2008 that includes $70 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Bush said in a statement Wednesday that the $555 billion budget bill funds the government without raising taxes and without what he called the most objectionable policy changes considered by the Congress.

Congressional Democrats lost their bid to link funding for the Iraq war with a timetable for withdrawal. Mr. Bush had threatened to veto any bill that included deadlines to pull U.S. forces out of Iraq.

Mr. Bush also said he is disappointed the bill includes more than $10 billion in earmarks -- spending allocations for projects favored by specific members of Congress. Mr. Bush has said he instructed his budget director to review the options for dealing with what he called "wasteful spending."

The president signed the bill before flying to his Texas ranch, where he will ring in the new year. The measure funds all government departments except defense through September 2008. A separate defense budget was signed into law earlier.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP .