White House

The Gonzales factor

At least two people don’t think Attorney General Alberto Gonzales should resign, Gonzales and the only person whose opinion in this matter counts, President Bush. But this week there were clear indications that Gonzales’ continued tenure is beginning to hurt the administration with Congress.

Bush’s veto statement

Text of President Bush’s statement Tuesday on his veto of a bill to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq, as transcribed by CQ Transcriptions:

Good evening.

Twelve weeks ago I asked the Congress to pass an emergency war spending bill that would provide our brave young men and women in uniform with the funds and flexibility they need.

Bush, Democrats meet today on Iraq funding

President Bush meets today with Democrats and Republicans from Congress to work on an Iraq war funding measure both sides can accept.

Bush’s veto of an Iraq war spending bill that set timelines for U.S. troop withdrawals puts new pressure on Democrats in Congress to craft a compromise even as their caucus grows more fractious on the topic.

Lowering the bar

A story in The New York Times makes it clear White House officials are giving off-the-record interviews designed to dampen expectations regarding Iraq. These officials are saying that the administration will make no interim reports on the situation until September, and that in any event people shouldn’t expect much in the way of military or political progress by then.

Bush veto puts pressure on Democrats

050107bush3_0.jpgPresident Bush’s veto of an Iraq war spending bill that set timelines for U.S. troop withdrawals puts new pressure on Democrats in Congress to craft a compromise even as their caucus grows more fractious on the topic.

The party’s most liberal members, especially in the House, say they will vote against money for continuing the war if there’s no binding language on troop drawdowns. Bush and almost all congressional Republicans continue to insist on a spending bill with no strings attached on troop movements.

Bush on Tuesday rejected legislation pushed by Democratic leaders that would require the first U.S. combat troops to be withdrawn by Oct. 1 with a goal of a complete pullout six months later.

“This is a prescription for chaos and confusion and we must not impose it on our troops,” Bush said in a nationally broadcast statement from the White House. “It makes no sense to tell the enemy when you plan to start withdrawing.”

Bush vetoes Iraq spending, troop withdrawal bill

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President Bush discusses veto (AP)

President Bush vetoed legislation to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq Tuesday night in a historic showdown with Congress over whether the unpopular and costly war should end or escalate.

Gonzales aides had firing authority

050107gonzales.jpgAttorney General Alberto Gonzales gave two top aides authority to hire and fire political appointees other than U.S. attorneys, according to a Justice Department order obtained Monday by The Associated Press.

The March 2006 order gave Gonzales’ then-Chief of Staff Kyle Sampson and later White House liaison Monica Goodling authority to hire and fire about 135 politically appointed Justice Department employees who did not require Senate confirmation.