06/26/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

House Leaders Reach Iraq War Funding Deal Without Deadline For Withdrawal

House leaders struck a bipartisan deal on Wednesday night on a major spending measure that would provide money for the war in Iraq through the end of the Bush administration, establish a significant new education benefit for veterans, and meet Democratic demands for added unemployment benefits.

The bill, which could be voted on as early as Thursday in the House, would effectively bring to a close the two-year battle between President Bush and Congressional Democrats over war financing by allocating about $163 billion for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through early next year without imposing conditions like a withdrawal deadline.

White House officials took part in the talks that produced the agreement, suggesting the president was willing to sign the emerging legislation.

"I think we have an agreement," said Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the majority leader, who worked out the final deal in talks with Representative John A. Boehner of Ohio, the Republican leader, as well as senior members of both parties from the Appropriations and Ways and Means Committees.

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