WASHINGTON - US President George W. Bush signed on Wednesday a US$555 billion bill for the fiscal year of 2008 that includes US$70 billion funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the White House said.
US President George W. Bush, seen on Dec. 20 in this file photo, signed on Wednesday a US$555 billion bill for the fiscal year of 2008 that includes US$70 billion funding for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. [Xinhua]
Notably, the massive spending bill, which also provides funds to keep government agencies running through September next year, does not set any timeline for US troop withdrawal from Iraq.
"It provides a down-payment for our troops who are in harm's way without arbitrary withdrawal timelines," White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said aboard Airforce One while accompanying Bush on his way for a New Year holiday in Crawford, Texas.
"The omnibus (bill) funds the government at responsible levels that the president proposed without raising taxes," he added.
Bush's signature on the bill ended a long-running battle between the White House and the Democrat-controlled Congress over whether further war funds should be conditioned on a timeline for US troops to withdraw from Iraq.
According to Stanzel, Bush also inked another 15 bills while aboard the plane, including an income tax adjustment bill which is oriented to benefit millions of middle-class Americans.