No truce reached on war spending

first_img“The Democratic leaders did talk about having timelines for withdrawal that might be waivable,” Bolten told reporters after the morning meeting, saying Democrats seemed dug in on the timeline issue. “We consider that to be not a significant distinction.” Democrats and the White House had expressed willingness to bargain in recent days, with Democrats saying they were committed to producing a bill the president could sign before leaving town on a Memorial Day break. Despite the continuing impasse, Pelosi pledged that the money would be available to the Pentagon by then. The White House and congressional Republicans have expressed a willingness to consider a plan similar to one offered by Sen. John W. Warner, R-Va., that received 52 votes in the Senate this week. It established 18 progress benchmarks for the Iraqi government and required Bush to deliver reports to Congress in July and September on how well the government was performing. WASHINGTON – Congressional Democrats and the White House remained at odds over a war-spending measure Friday after a crucial negotiating session ended with both sides expressing disappointment and accusing the other of being intractable. Democrats said the White House chief of staff, Joshua B. Bolten, rejected their offer to eliminate non-Pentagon spending and give President George W. Bush the authority to waive a timeline for withdrawal of troops from Iraq in return for their approval of about $95 billion for operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through Sept. 30. “No – everything was no,” said Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., the majority leader, characterizing the response by White House officials and Republican leaders of the House and Senate who took part in the talks. Republicans said they were caught by surprise by the Democratic posture in the meeting, in the offices of the House speaker, Nancy Pelosi, given that Bush has already vetoed one spending measure containing a withdrawal timeline and has made it clear that he will not accept such a proposal. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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