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Senate Makes Room for Deal on War Funding

A Senate deeply divided on Iraq agreed Thursday not to try to pass its own war spending bill just yet, opting instead to resolve the matter first with the House behind closed doors.

The Senate voted 94-1 to advance a resolution that avoids the funding question and instead pledges to support the troops. The measure, later approved by voice vote, was primarily a procedural move needed to trigger the next official round of negotiations with the House on a final war spending bill.

The White House also was expected to weigh in on a new war funding bill. President Bush dispatched chief of staff Joshua Bolten to Capitol Hill Thursday to meet with members.

"He's not going to have the blank check," said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada. "There's a Congress and he has to deal with us."

Congress and the White House have been at loggerheads over war funding since earlier this month when Bush vetoed a $124.2 billion bill that called for troop withdrawals to begin Oct. 1.

-- Associated Press

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