16 April 2007
"The new budget does not set a timetable for US troop withdrawal
Both houses of the US Congress have passed a bill allocating $100bn of new funding for the Iraq war.
The House of Representatives voted in favour of the bill, and the Senate approved it shortly afterwards.
Earlier President George W Bush praised the bill, a compromise measure between Republicans and Democrats without any timetable for a US troop withdrawal.
The deal ended months of wrangling over demands by Democrats, who control Congress, for checks on Iraq funding.
Democrats had wanted timetables for withdrawal built into any funding bill, but those conditions prompted Mr Bush to veto earlier legislation.
Without a two-thirds majority in Congress, the Democrats were unable to overturn any threat of a further presidential veto and eventually agreed to a compromise deal.
"This is like a fig leaf, this is a token, this is a small step forward, instead we should have a giant step forward into a new direction," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
Democrats did manage to secure cash for domestic issues, and insisted the new budget was not a victory for the White House.
"The days of blank checks and green lights for his failed policy are over," Senate majority leader Harry Reid said.
Speaking at the White House ahead of the vote, Mr Bush praised the negotiated compromise, saying the bill reflected "a consensus".
Among the terms of the new deal are requirements that the Iraqi government demonstrate progress on specific issues to be assured of continuing US support.
Those "benchmarks" were included after pressure from Democrats, but can be over-ruled by the president.
"By voting for this bill, members of both parties can show our troops and the Iraqis and the enemy that our country will support our servicemen and women in harm's way," the president said.
He also told reporters that the coming weeks and months in Iraq would be vital for the new US security strategy in Iraq.
"This summer is going to be critical time for the new strategy," he said.
The last of the US troop reinforcements would arrive in Baghdad by the middle of June, Mr Bush predicted, saying he expected heavy fighting to continue in Iraq during this time.
"We are going to expect heavy fighting in the next weeks and months and we can expect American and Iraqi casualties," he said, pledging to stay on the offensive."
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