Democrats said they offered to strip billions of dollars in non-military spending from the bill and indicated that they would accept giving the president the option to waive any withdrawal deadlines. But those offers to compromise were rejected, Democrats said. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi summed it up well:
“But it has accountability in it. The President’s representatives said no. Then we said, ‘Okay, you have a problem with timelines, we’ll give you a waiver on that.’ They said no.
“So it is clear that the difference between the Democrats and the President is the issue of accountability. He will not accept any accountability or responsibility for what has happened there..."
The White House gave support only to a proposal from Sen. Warner that would cut off reconstruction aid to the Iraqi government if certain benchmarks aren't met, but allows President Bush to waive these conditions. In other words, he won't accept anything that is anything less than what he wants - another blank check for the war. Of course, compromise means that both sides must make concessions. But apparently, the White House doesn't think so. Democrats should by no means accept that. It is time Bush learned he has to deal with Congress now.
Democrats still plan try passing a bill next week to fund the U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey said he and Senate counterparts would work over the weekend to try to come up with a new money bill. He said he hoped to present it to leaders on Monday.