RENEE MONTAGNE, Host:
NPR's Brian Naylor reports.
BRIAN NAYLOR: But Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen, who heads the Democrats' Congressional Campaign Committee, says it's worth replaying.
CHRIS VAN HOLLEN: We think it's very important to keep the pressure on the White House to change direction, to require that Republicans in the House and the Senate be held accountable for their votes because we believe that it's important for national security reasons to change direction. We're not going to give the president a blank check.
NAYLOR: California Democrat Lynn Woolsey co-chairs the House Out of Iraq Caucus. She says it's tough explaining to her San Francisco Bay Area constituents why Democrats can't force the president to change course in Iraq.
LYNN WOOLSEY: They were against the war to start with, they're against what's turned into an occupation now, and they - if they could, they'd be shaking me to find out why it's not moving in a bolder fashion.
NAYLOR: Woolsey wishes there were what she calls a bolder policy toward Iraq, but also understands why there isn't one.
WOOLSEY: One of the things is that, you know, the Democrats have a huge tent and trying to pull us all together to agree on something's not easy.
NAYLOR: It's even tougher in the Senate where Democrats have a narrower majority and where determined Republicans can and do require 60 votes to get anything done. But Majority Leader Harry Reid hopes to approve the House Iraq bill by the end of the week.
HARRY REID: This bill has $50 billion in it. If the president is not willing to take that with some conditions on it, then the president won't get his $50 billion. That's pretty clear.
NAYLOR: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.
MITCH MCCONNELL: I would say there would be minimum enthusiasm in my conference for passing the kind of bill on the troop funding that we think the House is going to pass, but if it is the kind of bill I anticipate it will be, it's not going to pass in the Senate this week.
NAYLOR: Brian Naylor, NPR News, the Capitol.
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