Bowing to President George W Bush, Congress on Wednesday gave up on a US troop withdrawal and approved 70 billion dollars in war spending on Iraq and Afghanistan for next year.
Passage in the US House of Representatives by a vote of 272-142 cleared the measure to head to Bush, who has indicated he will sign the bill because it sets no timetable for ending the war in Iraq.
Ending weeks of budget stalemate between Congress and the White House, the no-strings war funding was part of a huge 555-billion- dollar spending bill that funds most of the federal government in the year that began October 1.
The House passed the budget in what was expected to be its last action before lawmakers head out for the Christmas holiday break.
The US Senate passed the budget by 70-25 Tuesday after defeating amendments dealing with withdrawal of US troops from Iraq.
Democrats tried repeatedly in 2007 to legislate an end to the war in Iraq. But with only a slim advantage in both chambers of Congress, the opposition party failed to win over enough of Bush's Republicans to build a two-thirds majority to override the president's veto.
Polls show most Americans oppose the US war in Iraq. Yet with a presidential election due in November 2008, many Democrats also want to be seen as supporting US soldiers in Iraq.
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