US Senate panel votes for March '08 troop pullout

The Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a $122 billion (€91.38 billion) measure financing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that calls on President George W. Bush to pull US combat troops out of Iraq by March 31, 2008. The bill, approved by a voice vote, is similar to one the House of Representatives began debating. The White House has threatened to veto the House measure and had issued a veto threat against an earlier, similar version of the Senate withdrawal language. Republicans on the Senate Appropriations Committee had prepared to try deleting the withdrawal language. But facing likely defeat, they decided to postpone that effort until the full Senate takes up the spending measure as early as Monday. "I don't believe that we - from Washington - can judge the conditions on the battlefield," said Sen. Christopher Bond, a Republican.