By a vote of 255-171, the House rejected legislation pushed by the ''Out of Iraq'' caucus that would have started U.S. combat troop withdrawals within three months. The Pentagon would have had six more months to finish the troop movement to effectively end the four-year-old war.
''This war is a terrible tragedy and it is time to bring it to an end,'' said Democratic Rep James McGovern of Massachusetts.
But California Republican Rep. Jerry Lewis called the legislation ''short sighted and dangerous.'' The House is next expected to vote on a bill providing enough new money to keep the Iraq war running for another two or three months, with the option of approving another batch of combat funds in July.
Reuters JK SBA VP0320