Bush pressures Congress to fund war, drop withdrawal mandates

President Bush used his Easter/Passover radio address Saturday to put pressure on Congress to authorize Iraq war funding with no strings attached.

“Our men and women in uniform deserve…the funds, resources, and equipment they need to do their jobs,” Bush said.

Bush criticized the Democratic majority in Congress for tacking withdrawal requirements onto the emergency war funding bill he submitted in February, and renewed his promise to veto any version of the bill “that would substitute the judgment of politicians in Washington for the judgment of our generals in the field.”

“If the Democrats continue to insist on making a political statement, they should send me their bill as soon as possible,” Bush said. “I will veto it, and then Congress can go to work on a good bill that gives our troops the funds they need, without strings and without further delay.”

According to Bush, if Democrats do not send him a supplemental bill free of requirements, they will delay soldiers’ returns, shorten soldiers’ time off between tours, limit the military’s training capabilities, postpone the formation of combat teams, and cut off critical equipment repairs.

The fight between Bush and Democrats over the issue has become more contentious as neither side appears willing to budge.

Democrats have said a mandated withdrawal is necessary to bring troops home, while Republicans have argued that, with a looming Bush veto, time spent making political statements could endanger U.S. soldiers.

“For our men and women in uniform,” Bush said, “this emergency war spending bill is not a political statement, it is a source of critical funding that has a direct impact on their daily lives.”