WASHINGTON, May 17 (UPI) -- The U.S. Congress should not go home for Memorial Day unless it has passed an Iraq war-funding bill, Republicans in the House of Representatives said Thursday.
Every Republican member of House signed a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., demanding that the chamber be kept in session through the upcoming holiday break unless lawmakers negotiate and pass legislation to fund the military in Iraq, Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, the House minority leader, said.
U.S. President George Bush vetoed the first Iraq war-funding bill approved by Congress because it included a timetable for troop withdrawal. Now Democrats say legislation should be tied to benchmarks in progress by the Iraqi government.
"This is not a political situation. This is a real situation," U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas said. "It's putting our families at risk and under strain, and it's unnecessary. We're willing to stay here and work until we get the work done."