Veto Sustained, Bush Sits Down with Lawmakers
MELISSA BLOCK, Host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
First: The story from the White House. Here is our correspondent Don Gonyea.
DON GONYEA: President Bush vetoed the funding bill yesterday as soon as he returned to the White House from a visit to the military's central command headquarters. This morning he used the speech to the Associated General Contractors to talk about Iraq.
GEORGE W: This is a frustrating war. Nobody likes a war.
GONYEA: Today, the president said, such a move would make Iraq a humanitarian nightmare. And he said there'd be chaos across the Middle East and he spoke of what that would mean for al-Qaida.
BUSH: And there would be no benefit in allowing the same terrorist network that attacked America on 9/11 to gain a safe haven from which to attack us again. Even if you think it was mistake to go into Iraq, it would be a far greater mistake to pullout now.
(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE)
GONYEA: In a letter to the House of Representatives today, the president also argued that a congressional mandate regarding troop withdrawals is unconstitutional. His language on that point was less formal during a Q and A session with audience members.
BUSH: The question is who ought to make that decision, the Congress or the commanders? And as you know, my position is clear. I'm a commander guy - yes, sir.
GONYEA: This afternoon at the White House, the president hosted Democratic and Republican congressional leaders in the Cabinet Room. Mr. Bush said it's important that they work quickly.
BUSH: Yesterday was a day that highlighted differences. Today is a day where we can work together to find common ground. I will inform - and another speaker and the leader that - of our serious intent.
GONYEA: Don Gonyea, NPR News, the White House.
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