Wednesday, January 10, 2007
President Bush to Unveil His New Approach to Waging Iraq War, Democrats Vow Scrutiny
WASHINGTON (AP) - In a blunt challenge to President Bush, the leader of the Senate's new Democratic majority said Monday he will "look at everything" within his power to wind down the war in Iraq, short of cutting off funding for troops already deployed.
"I think we've got to tell the president what he's doing as wrong. We've got to start bringing our folks home," said Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, in remarks that portend a struggle if, as expected, Bush announces plans later this week for an increase in troop strength of 20,000.
Another senior Democrat, Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, said one option under consideration would be for lawmakers to vote on denying the use of funds for any increase in the U.S. deployment. Officials said late Monday night that the Massachusetts Democrat was preparing legislation that would require Congress to approve the deployment of more troops, and was hoping for a roll call on the topic swiftly -- before any increase is implemented.
More broadly, Reid signaled that Bush's expected call for an additional $100 billion for the war would receive close scrutiny from newly empowered Democrats.
"We have a platform we didn't have before, Leader Pelosi and I, and we're going to ... focus attention on this war in many different ways," said Reid. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) suggested over the weekend using Congress' power of the purse to restrain any troop buildup.
By: David Espo, AP Special Correspondent