"I often hear members of Congress say they oppose the war but still support the troops. Now they have a chance to prove it."
President George W. Bush
After months of haggling, Congress passes a broad war funding measure that allocates about $163 billion to support ongoing combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through the beginning of 2009. Unable to win support for a troop withdrawal timetable, Democrats settle for extending unemployment insurance for all Americans and establishiing new higher-education benefits for veterans. Republicans point to bi-partisan support for the measure and a Pentagon report that shows U.S. military deaths in Iraq fell to 19 in May, the lowest monthly total since the invasion of 2003 as a validation of Bush Administration policies. GOP enthusiasm is tempered by a June 23 government report that asserts the U.S. has inflated its claims of economic, political and social progress in Iraq.