A sharply divided House of Representatives brushed aside a veto threat and passed legislation that would order President George W. Bush to begin withdrawing troops from Iraq by Oct. 1.
The 218-208 vote Wednesday came as the top US commander in Iraq told lawmakers the country remained gripped by violence but was showing some signs of improvement.
Passage puts the bill on track to clear Congress by week's end and arrive on the president's desk in coming days as the first binding congressional challenge to Bush's handling of the conflict now in its fifth year.
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