Deadlock continues between Bush, Congress

Deadlocked with Congress over Iraq, President Bush begins the week with a message that some good might come from sitting down with his Democratic adversaries. His vice president’s view is more antagonistic: Democrats will ultimately cave.

Bush on Monday will again prod Congress to pass a war-spending bill that does not include timetables for U.S. troop withdrawals or limitations on his military commanders. Both the House and Senate have passed bills to fund the war and start drawing troops home.

In a Rose Garden statement, Bush is expected to show at least some hope about his White House meeting Wednesday with congressional leaders of both parties. So far, Bush has called Democrats irresponsible, promised to veto their bill and refused to negotiate.

“His position hasn’t changed,” White House communications director Kevin Sullivan said Sunday. “But he’s hopeful that the discussion on Wednesday will be productive.”

In particular, the White House sees a chance for the meeting to yield some clarity about what will happen next — particularly because the Democrats have to reconcile their own differences. Bush’s comments come as the House prepares to return from a two-week break.

By hosting and pledging not to budge, Bush has little to lose. The war and his management of it remain deeply unpopular.

On Monday, he will speak after meeting briefly in the Oval Office with families of veterans and military service organizations.

Meanwhile, Vice President Dick Cheney says he is “willing to bet” that Democratic lawmakers will back down and approve a war-spending bill that doesn’t call for U.S. troops to leave Iraq. Top Democratic leaders shot back that Cheney has lost all public credibility.

In an interview broadcast Sunday, Cheney predicted Congress will end up passing a “clean” bill that funds the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan without any troop withdrawal timetables. Democrats do not appear to have the votes to override a presidential veto.

“They will not leave the troops in the field without the resources they need,” Cheney said of the Democrats.

Asked what would happen if they don’t back down, Cheney said, “I’m willing to bet the other way — that, in fact, they will.”

“There may be some people who are so irresponsible that they wouldn’t support that,” Cheney said. But the majority will send Bush the bill he wants “once they’ve gone through the exercise and it’s clear the president will veto the provisions that they want in,” he said.

However, the Senate Armed Services Committee’s chairman said Congress won’t relent in winding down the war.

If Bush vetoes a bill calling for troop reductions, Democratic lawmakers would probably come back with a second try that requires the Iraqi government to meet performance benchmarks or face consequences, said Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich. Iraq’s leadership is struggling to make the progress it has promised on political reconciliation, distribution of the country’s oil wealth and other vital goals.

“We are very, very serious about what the American people said in November,” Levin said, referring to the election that put Democrats in charge of Congress. “They want a change of course.”

Cheney’s blistering criticism of Democrats, the latest in a series of recent speeches and interviews, drew harsh words from Levin.

“He has misled the people consistently on Iraq,” Levin said. “He has misstated. He has exaggerated. And I don’t think he has any credibility left with the American people.”

The House and Senate are expected to negotiate war spending legislation this week. The Democratic proposal would approve $96 billion in military money, mostly for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and set a timetable for troop withdrawal.

“The American people know that the height of irresponsibility is to put this country at risk by mismanaging a war from day one,” said Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada. He, too, said Cheney “has long since lost credibility.”

The Senate bill would require a U.S. troop exit in Iraq to begin within 120 days, with a completion goal of March 31, 2008. The House bill would order all combat troops out by Sept. 1, 2008. Most Republicans stand with Bush on grounds that a timetable is a dangerous war policy.

Cheney’s interview, taped Saturday, was on CBS’ “Face the Nation.” Levin spoke on “Fox News Sunday.”


Copyright © 2007 The Associated Press


  1. AustinRanter

    Ford appointed Rumsfeld his chief of staff when he took office after Nixon’s resignation in 1974. The next year, when he made the 42-year-old Rumsfeld the youngest secretary of defense in the nation’s history, he named 34-year-old Dick Cheney his chief of staff, also the youngest ever.

    Near the end April, 1975 the fall of Saigon was in full throttle. President Ford was in a terrible situation.

    But, at his side were Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld pushing Ford to send more troops to cure the added problem of Saigon. Ford was listening, but still bordering on confusion about the best course of action. Ford new that our troops were in serious trouble.

    The Democrats, especially high ranking Democrats like Tip O’Neil, then Speaker of the House, tried several times to shut the war down in Vietnam, but failed.

    But, when Saigon caved in by the hands of the North Vietnamese…it was just too much for anybody in the U.S. Government to ignore.

    Cheney and Rumsfeld hammered as hard as they could that a surge in troops would get the war back in control…but this time no matter how loud these two war-hawks screamed…they would soon lose total control and Congress would prevail. The war was permanently shutdown by Congress.

    I think its time that our Congress today read a bit of history and see if there are any lessons to be learned and options used then…that might serve as a tool now to shutdown Iraq.

    It might be that circumstance was far different then and that Vietnam, it’s impact on both America and how the Congress intervened has no relevance…but then again…it might.

    It’s time for our Congress today to shutdown Cheney once again. Cheney is the War Czar, but Bush’s ego is fragile, too fragile to openly admit such. Bush, well, as spokesperson for Cheney, he’ll just have to find some other cause and leader to front messages for to the American people.

  2. gene

    When will people wake up?…to late now anyway. Hard to believe the above post but I do. Hard to believe that people voted for this gain of “real” criminals but they did.

    Yeh, right cheney, we are not real Americans if we don’t believe your (dangerous) bullshit, the kind of “bullshit” that kills tens of thousands of people. Oh well, just another day in lala land. Oh and does the guy in the above picture remind anyone of mabe a (weasel)?

  3. Carl Nemo

    As most folks I’ve been watching this scenario play out and it dawned on me several days ago that all the Dem slimeballs want is the money and they could really care less about our involvement in Iraq. Bush doesn’t care about the troops either, but wants an open-ended committment so he and Cheney et. al. can play the war card until they escape office in January 2009, then they can immediatlely cash-in on their huge holdings in defense and oil stocks/options etc. If this war ends prematurely with an associated decrease in tension and hostilities in the overall region the price of oil and defense stocks will pullback big-time killing their pumped portfolios which they can’t touch or be involved with until they leave office.
    So the Dems will back off on a time table to leave Iraq and Bush will let them have their 30,000 million dollars of “feel-good” pork to pitch back to their brain-dead constituents in Mayberry, USA. Again, they are “republicrats” and we the people are their tax slaves. We best learn who our betters are in these grim times for this once great Republic. The only solution is to not send any of the current office holders back to the Senate or the House regardless of all the pork they’ve pitched back home, or the powerful back-stabbing committee’s they might chair or sit upon as members. America is in harms way with these mattoids in control…!

  4. jennbeez

    How flippant. It’s all one upsmanship and games to Cheney, isn’t it? The only problem is the pawns are human beings.

  5. gene

    Above “The only problem is the pawns are human beings”….very true but you know too they (this gain of criminals, murderers) could care less.

    They (bush, cheney and all their butt-sucking neocon associates) are after absolute power and control. The money part is no problem for them as long as this (ILLEGAL) war continues.

    The bastards could care less about human life, except of course their own.

  6. SEAL

    It is odd that Cheney is in essentially the same position now as he was at the end Of Vietnam and will watch his dream fail in much the same way for a second time. The enormous wealth he has reaped from his war is not the reason he has us there, though. Cheney is totally delusional. He actually believes what he says and believes that everything he has done to get us to where we are is justified. He listens to no one and, if we will all just listen to and follow him, he will lead us to world domination. In his mind, he knows that military might is the only way to accomplish that. Most of the military brass has always known what a dangerous man Dick Cheney is. Unfortunately, there are a few that agree with him.

    However, there is no real comparision of the conditions between Iraq and Vietnam. We are not in a war and we are not fighting an enemy. We are simply an occupation force, ostensibly peace keepers. Our troops are in no danger of being attacked, overrun, or anything like that. We can pack up our toys and leave anytime we like with no interference other than a few hotheads taking potshots or lobbing homemade grenades at us. I imagine there would be many loud cheers. Congress [for the people] will force an end to our occupation of Iraq. The only question is how they will do it and how long they will take to do it. Cheney will continue to believe that he is/was right. Given another opportunity he would do the same thing again. He, like McNamara, only needs another stupid Texas egomaniac to front for him.

    The Iraqis know we will be leaving soon. The powerful shiite religious cleric Sadr, who has his own army of thousands, is positioning himself to take over when we are gone. He may be able to do it. Somebody will. The government we set up will disappear the first week. There will be a blood bath for a while but I don’t believe it will last as long as most people fear. I do hope we are smart enough to pull back in such a way as to prevent any outside interference from Iran or other countries. The administration’s contention that the foreign terrorists will take over or set up shop with Iraq as a base is ridiculous. They will head for the border the minute we begin to leave. They know the Iraqis better than we do and know they will lose their heads quick now that they aren’t needed. Iraq is for Iraqis ONLY. That’s the whole point.

    The foregoing is only my evaluation, of course, but I’ll bet it’s accurate. I spent a lot of years in that world and it was my job to understand the people and their attitudes. The Middle East is about religion and the power to enforce your belief. Their is no tolerance for the other guy’s belief. No negotiation and no peaceful coexistance. One rules and subjugates the other(s). That is how it has been, is while we are there, and will be when we leave.

  7. gene

    Excellent post SEAL, explains alot in very clear words. Very understandable if only the American public would stop long enough from their buying spree to listen much less give a dam.

    Very few are paying attention, thats one reason why this gain of (psycho murderes) have gotten away with so much.

  8. rebecca Bank

    It’s really sad that these two men who didn’t step up to the plate to protect the US during Viet Nam are now insisting that other people’s children are sent to be killed. Should congress allow them the money? How about demanding that they find the $8tillion they have already lost?

  9. Razor

    Does anyone really think that Bu$h and Cheney will pass up the best chance they will ever have to hit Iran? If they don’t do it now, they’ll likely not get another shot at completing Israels commands. The surge will not be deployed in Bagdad but along the Iranian Border. A third Battle Group is steaming towards the Gulf. In a couple months all hell is going to break loose. This will stop the oil and world economy will tank shortly after america falls ( economy ). That is when we will know what dictatorship is really like. They will go for broke because they are too old to wait for another chance.

    Far fetched? If folks in america knew how much the media filters real world events they would shake in thier boots.
    Try some economics 101 concerning trade deficiets, fiat money, fractional lending, and world banking policy. The debt of the american taxpayer can never be paid. It requires employment and trade surplus. When americans can’t spend lots of money, the float will sink. All the money has been transferred to the elites and this phoney war is the grab for the last sucker. Buy Gold while its cheap.