WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Senate is expected to vote as early as this week on whether to cut off money for the Iraq war next year, as well as on a softer measure calling for troops to leave this fall.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Monday the two measures would be offered as amendments to a water projects funding bill being debated this week. While the Senate had planned to debate Iraq this week, it had previously been unclear what specifics members would consider.
The first amendment, backed by Reid and Sen. Russ Feingold, would require that combat operations end by March 31, 2008, by cutting off money after that date.
The second measure would provide more than $120 billion to fund the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as various domestic projects. It would call for troops to begin leaving Iraq by Oct. 1, but allow the president to waive that requirement.
Passage of the $120 billion in war spending would allow the Senate to begin negotiating with the House and send President Bush a bill by the end of the month.
The House last week approved, 221-205, legislation that would fund the war in two-month installments, giving Congress a chance to cut off money for the war after July. The House measure was considered unlikely to survive in the Senate, where Democrats wanted to fund the war through September.
``On our side of the aisle, Democrats believe they should do something very very close to what was done in the bill that was sent to the president to be vetoed,'' said Reid.