In grudging concessions to President Bush, Democrats intend to draft an Iraq war-funding bill without a timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. troops and shorn of billions of dollars in spending on domestic programs, officials said Monday.
While details remain subject to change, the measure is designed to close the books by Friday on a bruising veto fight between Bush and the Democratic-controlled Congress over the war. It would provide funds for military operations in Iraq through Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year.
Democratic officials stressed the legislation was subject to change. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to discuss provisions before a planned presentation to members of the party's rank and file later in the day.
Either way, Democratic leaders have said they hope to clear a war spending bill through both houses of Congress and send it to Bush's desk by week's end. They added the intention was to avoid a veto.
Bush vetoed one bill this spring after Democrats included a timetable for the withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq, and Republicans in the House upheld his rejection of the measure.
The House then passed legislation to provide war funds in two 60-day installments. Bush threatened a veto, and the measure was sidetracked in the Senate in favor of a non-controversial bill that merely pledged to give the troops the resources they need.