Democratic Leaders Signed the Supplemental Conference Report Today
Bush Vetoed the Bill Shortly Thereafter
Democrats sent the Iraq war-spending bill to the White House this afternoon after a ceremony at the Capitol. Aides to President Bush said that he will have vetoed it before nightfall. Throughout the day, Mr. Bush and Democrats painted sharply contrasting pictures of the Iraq war. The president tries to portray it as an historic campaign to make the world safer, while the Democrats see it as a tragic, ill-conceived and very badly executed mis-adventure.
Democrats spent hours trying to take advantage of the fourth anniversary of President Bush’s “mission accomplished” speech, a strategy that the White House dismissed as a distortion of what the president really had said in 2003.
The White House said that Mr. Bush would wield his veto pen shortly after 6 p.m. Eastern time, after he returned from Tampa, Florida, where he took part in a conference of the Central Command, which oversees United States military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In a statement made when Bush did exercise his veto powers this evening to turn down the Iraq-war spending bill, he called it a blueprint for failure and defeat. His action, however, is seen by most political observers as inevitably intensifying a heated showdown with the Democratic-controlled Congress. Democrats on the hill reacted with strong disappointment about Bush’s action. Democratic Senator Harry Reid, the Senate Majority Leader, said, “The president may be content with keeping our troops mired in the middle of an open-ended civil war, but we are not, and neither are most Americans.”
Mr. Bush’s Statement
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Full coverage of Mr. Bush’s statement is provided by The New York Times.