ABC News’ Ann Compton Reports: The White House threatened today to veto new legislation proposed by House Democrats, which would require the withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the fall of 2008.
Earlier today, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the deadline would be added to legislation the Bush administration has requested, providing nearly $100-billion for fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Senior White House adviser Dan Bartlett, accompanying Bush on a flight to Latin America, told reporters, "It’s safe to say it’s a nonstarter for the president."
"The President would veto this proposal on the basis of the arbitrary troop withdrawal timeline," said White House Deputy Press Secretary Dana Perino in a statement released to the press.
"General Petraeus, not Speaker Pelosi, should be setting military strategy and timetables for troop movement," she said. "Speaker Pelosi should not be limiting the options of our military leaders to win the Global War on Terror."
"Their plan unintentionally runs the risk of aiding the enemy by identifying specific ways to trigger rigid and artificial timelines for withdrawal," said Perino.
She told reporters the measure would mark the first time the new Democratic-controlled Congress has established a "date certain" for the end of U.S. combat in the four-year-old war, that has claimed the lives of more than 3,100 U.S. troops.