'Bush weaker'

 

Al Jazeera correspondent Viviana Hurtado  said: "This is the first time in six years that Bush has had any questioning of his authority by the US congress.

 

"President Bush appears weaker in the eyes of Americans and in the eyes of the world."

 

She said: "He is going to win this round on the fight … there are not enough votes to overturn his veto.

 

"[But] he has been weakened by a congress that is not backing down."

Bush rejection

 

Bush has consistently rejected any time restrictions on the presence of US troops in Iraq, particularly after his recent commitment to deploy 30,000 more troops in the country.

 

Senate approval of the bill means both chambers of congress have formally called on the president to conclude US involvement in the war in Iraq during the course of the next year.

 

The House of Representatives passed legislation last week setting a mandatory troop withdrawal deadline of September 1, 2008.

 

The two chambers will try to work out a compromise before sending the bill to Bush next month.