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Bill to Fund Iraq War, Recall Troops Moves Ahead

A Senate panel approves a massive bill to fund the Iraq war — and to bring most U.S. troops home in 2008. A similar bill made it to the House floor for debate, although Democratic leaders there are still not sure they have the votes in their own party to pass it.

As a result, the new House majority is grappling with its first real test — and Democrats of all stripes are busy lobbying not only Republicans, but one another, for votes.

House Democrats are scrambling to pull together the votes they need to pass the $124 billion spending bill that funds wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and sets the goal of bringing most troops home by Aug. 31, 2008.

Despite strong pressure from House leadership, rank-and-file members of Congress are simply not falling in line.

Several anti-war liberals are planning to vote against the measure, even if it means joining forces with a majority of Republicans. Their reason, they say, is that they don't want to fund an unjust war. Others are wavering because of concerns about a timetable for withdrawal.

Democratic leaders still have to convince voters that a vote to fund the Iraq war is also a vote to end it.

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