Sanders won’t support Iraq legislation without timetable

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(Host) Senator Bernie Sanders says he won’t support legislation providing additional funds for the war in Iraq unless the bill includes a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

Congress is expected to pass legislation this week that provides an additional $124 billion for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bill also calls for an initial withdrawal of troops in 6 months and sets a goal of one year for the withdrawal of all U.S. troops.

President Bush has threatened to veto any Iraq spending bill that includes a timetable and Democratic leaders acknowledge that they don’t have the votes to override a presidential veto.

Speaking last night on VPR’s Switchboard program, Sanders says he’ll continue to oppose efforts to provide funds without a timetable to withdraw troops:

(Sanders) “I would not vote for that type of legislation. This president has misled us. His war policies have been a disaster. It is absolutely appropriate that the Congress of the United States change his policies in Iraq and that is my view. We should be using the budget process to bring our troops home.”

(Host) Vice President Dick Cheney accused Congressional opponents of the Iraqi war yesterday of supporting a “defeatist” attitude that could prolong the effort to win the war.

Sanders says he strongly disagrees with the Vice President’s comments:

(Sanders) “These guys will say anything for political purposes. They have gotten us into a war that we should never have gotten into. They were unprepared for the war. They have virtually no credibility in terms of anything about this war and I think the time is long overdue for Congress to say you have been wrong.”

(Host) It’s possible that the new Iraq spending bill that includes the troop withdrawal timetable could pass both the House and the Senate by the end of the week.

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