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  Thursday, February 20, 2020
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President George Bush has vetoed a congressional bill linking $124.2 billion
President George Bush has vetoed a congressional bill linking $124.2 billion additional military funding to the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq by a deadline of April 1, 2008. Speaking at the White House during a special televised broadcast Bush called the congressional bill unacceptable, adding that it was only the second time in 6.5 years that he had to use the presidential right to veto. "Setting a deadline for the withdrawal [of troops] would be setting a date for failure." He said, adding that it would demoralize Iraqis and give a signal to the Middle East that America will not keep its commitments. The presidential veto means that the bill, which went through Congress 51 against 46 votes April 25, will now have to go back to Congress. Bush invited congressional leaders to the White House Wednesday to discuss details for a new bill appealing for legislators to decide on additional troop funding "as soon as possible". Over $100 billion of the total $124.2 billion will be allocated to current military and auxiliary operations, with $3 billion being spent on new Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicles (MRAP) to defend U.S. troops from roadside mines used by militants in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Pentagon also plans to allocate $25.5 billion on military hardware: nine UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters, four CH-47 heavy-lift helicopters, one CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft, three F/A-18 fighter aircraft, one EA-18G electronic spy craft.
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