ABC News’ Karen Travers Reports: President Bush once again called on Congress to drop the timetables, strings and pork barrel projects and pass a funding bill for the military that he can sign into law.
He stressed the urgency of the pending supplemental legislation and blamed the majority party in Congress for the delay.
"We are at war. It is irresponsible for the Democratic leadership in Congress to delay for months on end while our troops in combat are waiting for the funds they need to succeed," Bush said.
President Bush said he has invited congressional leaders from both parties to the White House next week to discuss progress on the spending bill and the way forward on a "clean bill" that funds the troops "without artificial timetables for withdrawal and without handcuffing our generals on the ground."
The President said that the bills passed by the House and Senate "substitute the judgment of politicians in Washington for the judgment of [the] commanders on the ground" in Iraq.
The President repeated his stance that Congress’ failure to fund the troops means that "some of our military families could wait longer for their loved ones to return from the front lines. Others could see their loved ones headed back to war sooner than anticipated."
"This is unacceptable," Bush said today in a speech to the American Legion in Fairfax, Virginia. "It’s unacceptable to me, it’s unacceptable to our veterans, it’s unacceptable to our military families, and it’s unacceptable to many in this country."
Bush said in the coming days, military leaders will tell Congress that they will be forced to transfer $1.6-billion from other military accounts to cover the shortfall in funding, taking money from "personnel accounts" to continue Army operations in Iraq and elsewhere.
He said this comes on top of another $1.7-billion in transfers that military leaders told Congress about last month.
"These actions are only the beginning. And the longer Congress delays, the worse the impact on the men and women of the armed forces will be."