Reid's Remarks Lead to Challenge on War Funds

After more than 100 Iraq civilians were killed in bombings this week, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he feels the war is lost. So the White House has challenged Democrats to take a politically risky move and "defund" the war.

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DEBORAH AMOS, host:

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Deborah Amos.

RENEE MONTAGNE, host:

And I'm Renee Montagne.

Here are just a few developments this week concerning the war in Iraq. Nearly 200 Iraqis were killed and scores wounded in insurgent bombings on Wednesday. That same day, President Bush met with lawmakers to try to resolve differences over a war-funding bill. The two sides couldn't agree, and yesterday, the rhetoric heated up.

Here's the Senate Majority leader, Democrat Harry Reid.

Senator HARRY REID (Democrat, Nevada): I believe myself, that the secretary of state, secretary of defense - and you have to make your own decisions as to what the president knows - that this war is lost.

MONTAGNE: Senator Reid went on to tell at a news conference that the U.S. troop surge, in his words, is not accomplishing anything, and he drew a comparison to the increase in troops sent to Vietnam. The White House fired back. Spokeswoman Dana Perino said that if the senator had the power of his convictions, he'd decide to cut off funding for the war.

President Bush says he will veto any funding bill that sets a timeline for a troop withdrawal.

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