Neither Side Prepared To Give In Stalemate Over Troop Withdrawal Timetable

(April 18, 2007)--It wasn't quite the meeting Republican or Democratic lawmakers had hoped for with the President on Wednesday.

Both sides had hoped to break the stalemate between the parties and the Administration on the Iraq War supplemental spending bill, but neither side was agreeable to a compromise.

The hour-long meeting between Congressional leaders and President Bush came after months of political wrangling over the $100 billion spending bill, which includes provisions for setting a timetable for withdrawing US troops from Iraq.

Mr. Bush has said he will veto any bill that includes an arbitrary timetable for withdrawal, saying that strategy would be like giving the insurgents a save-the-date card as to when they can come back and create more problems.

But despite the impasse, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D- California, said it was a good for all parties to discuss their concerns about the legislation and how to move forward.

"We came in the spirit of hope that the President would take yes for an answer. The legislation that we will send to his desk certainly supports the troops. It gives the president everything he asked for, as the leader said, and more."

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid, D – Nevada, urged the President to sign the bill, saying it provides more money and support than the original legislation Mr. Bush sent the Congress.

Pelosi also urged the President to sign the legislation, but she said Democrats are willing to work with him.

Both parties agreed that Wednesday's meeting is only the first of many more to come.

"We cannot give the president a blank check, but we are willing to work with him to come agreement."

The Department of Defense has repeatedly warned that the military will face dire consequences if the spending bill is not approved soon to support the troops in Iraq.

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