updated 5/8/2007 12:39:10 PM ET 2007-05-08T16:39:10

House Democratic leaders planned to brief party members Tuesday on new legislation that would fund the Iraq war through July, then give Congress the option of cutting off money after that if conditions do not improve.

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If members agree to back the plan as expected, a vote on the new war spending bill could come as early as this week. The proposal, pitched last week by Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., was first disclosed Thursday by The Associated Press.

Republicans immediately dismissed the Democratic proposal as unfairly rationing funds needed in combat and said their members would not support it.

Democrats "should not treat our men and women in uniform like they are children who are getting a monthly allowance," said Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, his party's leader.

Added Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Fla., after a GOP caucus meeting Tuesday: "It's a irresponsible approach. You do not fund wars 60 days at a time."

The Democratic proposal responds to President Bush's veto last week of a $124.2 billion bill that would have funded the war in Iraq, among other things, but demanded troops begin coming home on Oct. 1. Republicans agreed to uphold the veto, and Democrats were forced back to the drawing board.

House Democrats want to provide a bill that supports the troops, but not give Bush a blank check. Further complicating matters, several House liberals oppose funding the war at all while other more conservative Democrats are reluctant to tie strings to a bill needed by the troops.

The new version is likely to meet resistance in the Senate. Several Senate Democrats said they would oppose a short-term funding bill because it leaves open the question of whether troops will get the resources they need after July.

"There's the question of why it wasn't fully funded," said Sen. Ben Nelson, D-Neb.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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