Bush Again Assails Democrats on War; Says Delay in Emergency Funding Will Have 'Adverse Consequences'

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Byline: Joseph Curl, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

CRAWFORD, Texas - President Bush yesterday accused Democrats of using U.S. troops as political pawns and chided lawmakers for taking a spring break before completing work on a $100 billion bill to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Turning up the heat on the Democrat-controlled Congress, the president said Americans do not support lawmakers' attempts to place a timetable on a U.S. pullout from Iraq and do not want troops to go unfunded.

"I recognize that Democrats are trying to show their current opposition to the war in Iraq. They see the emergency war-spending bill as a chance to make that statement. Yet for our men and women in uniform, 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," the president said in his weekly radio address.

The Senate returns this week. The House is in recess until April 16.

"That means the soonest the House and Senate could get a bill to my desk will be sometime late this month, after the adverse consequences for our troops and their families have already begun," the president said.

As he has for nearly a month, Mr. Bush said he will veto either spending bill in its current form. He rejects both a Senate-passed bill calling for most U.S. combat troops to withdraw from Iraq by March 31, 2008, and a House-passed bill that sets a September 2008 withdrawal.

Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean said Mr. Bush continues to follow his "my way or the highway" approach on the war.

"It is time for the president and Republicans in Congress to stop trying to bully their way through this and work with Democrats to end the war," Mr. …