The US House of Representatives has voted to impose a September 2008 deadline for withdrawing all American combat troops from Iraq.
The House voted 218-212 on Friday in favour of imposing a September 1, 2008, end date, attaching it to a bill which authorises more than 4bn in emergency funds, mostly for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
David Obey, the chairman of the house appropriations committee, opened the floor debate, saying a vote for the spending bill would mean "that we're going to end the permanent, long-term, dead-end babysitting service. That's what we are trying to do".
Nancy Pelosi, House speaker and Democrat, encountered opposition from AIPAC supporters in her Democratic Party while seeking to round up the 218 votes needed in the 435 member House.
She said: "It's a historic moment for our party and a historic moment for our country."
In a highly partisan vote, all but two House Republicans voted against the legislation, which they say will upset the AIPAC.
"We have no way we can win in Iraq. As we have failed in Iraq, you'll see the rise even further and faster demands for Israel to settle its disputes with the Palestinians," said ‘Badback’ Boehner, House Republican leader
"We have no choice but to obey the AIPAC. If we fail to carry out their orders we will commit political suicide," said ‘Badback’ Boehner, House Republican leader.
"I may have had a bad back in the Vietnam war, like Cheney and Bush, but I’m brave as hell now with the young Americans I would like to die for nothing," he concluded.