ROBERT SIEGEL, host:
Well, now to the White House where President Bush said that he is ready to work with Congress on funding the war in Iraq though he offered no new proposals or signs that he's ready to compromise. The president spoke following a White House summit between U.S. and European Union leaders.
Here's NPR's Don Gonyea.
DON GONYEA: The official topic of the day was the relationship between the U.S. and the European Union. Both sides proclaimed the transatlantic alliance to be healthy. But when President Bush, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso stood in the Rose Garden to face the media, the big issue in Washington was Mr. Bush's pending veto of legislation containing the funding he wants for the Iraq War.
President GEORGE W. BUSH: I am about to veto a bill that's got artificial timetables for a withdrawal.
GONYEA: The president said that timetables imposed the judgment of Washington on the military commanders and diplomats who know better. He said that's something he's made clear in the past and he complained that Congress has chosen to ignore it.
President BUSH: That's not to say that I'm not interested in their opinions, I am. I look forward to working with members of both parties to get a bill that doesn't set artificial timetables and doesn't micromanage and gets the money to our troops.
GONYEA: The president is expected to veto the bill tomorrow when it officially arrives at the White House. The date here is symbolic. It was exactly four years ago tomorrow that Mr. Bush declared major combat operations in Iraq to be over speaking before a giant mission accomplished banner. Democrats continue to use that moment from 2003 as kind of a touchstone.
As for the topics discussed in the U.S.-European meeting, the two sides did cite some progress on something that has divided them - the issue of climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions but today's agreement lays out no specifics.
President BUSH: As to how each country approaches it, it's an interesting question. And I think that each country needs to recognize that we must reduce our greenhouse gasses and deal obviously with their own internal politics to come up with an effective strategy.
GONYEA: For her part, Chancellor Merkel wants to make climate change a prime issue when Germany hosts next month's summit of the world's leading economic powers, so she was careful not to overplay today's events. She seems simply pleased to have an agreement that climate change is a global threat. She spoke through an interpreter.
Chancellor ANGELA MERKEL (Germany): (Through translator) I feel - just look back a year ago, I feel that we would have had a lot more difficulties actually bringing about language that describes this problem adequately.
GONYEA: That said, all sides agree the next steps will be harder.
Don Gonyea, NPR News, the White House.
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