Measures to end the war get nod in House, hit a wall in Senate

WASHINGTON: Democrats aggressively challenged President George W. Bush's Iraq policy at both ends of the Capitol building on Thursday, gaining House committee approval for a troop withdrawal deadline of September 1, 2008, but suffering defeat in the Senate on a less sweeping plan to end U.S. participation in the war.

Anti-war Democrats prevailed on a near-party line vote of 36-28 in the House Appropriations Committee, brushing aside a week-old veto threat and overcoming unyielding opposition from Republicans.

``I want this war to end. I don't want to go to any more funerals,'' said New York Rep. Jose Serrano, one of several liberal Democrats who have pledged their support for the legislation despite preferring a faster end to the war.

``Nobody wants our troops out of Iraq more than I do, countered Rep. C.W. Bill Young a Republican, who sought unsuccessfully to scuttle the timeline for a troop withdrawal. ``But we can't afford to turn over Iraq to al-Qaida.''

In the Senate, after weeks of skirmishing, Republicans easily turned back Democratic legislation requiring a troop withdrawal to begin within 120 days. The measure set no fixed deadline for completion of the redeployment, but set a goal of March 31, 2008. The vote was 50-48 against the measure, 12 short of the 60 needed for passage. AP